Concrete slabs resting on load bearing walls are lethal in an earthquake zone. The sequence of destruction in several earthquakes in recent years was observed as follows: walls moved, crumbled or gave way. The roof slab resting on the walls fell down like a lethal weapon and crushed the unfortunate victims. Mere strengthening of the structure is not the real solution. We have to create a structure where there is no separate wall or separate roof. Such structures do exist in the shapes of domes or semicircular barrel sheds. The dome or the barrel shell should start from the ground level and go right up so that there are no separate load bearing walls. Such a monolithic structure is strong and stable against vibrations and tremors. It can be constructed of concrete or fibre glass etc. Eskimos, by the way, construct their igloos from ice blocks. Even large concrete pipes can be placed in public buildings as earthquake shelters that can serve as air-raid refuges also. -KHALID A, London, January 27.