LAHORE-Widespread violation of engineering codes set for earthquake-prone areas while designing a building is the main reason behind large scale devastation in the wake of any such natural disaster. The effects of the devastation could be minimised if these codes are observed in the construction of building, the experts maintained. The experts say for example while designing any building, seismic activity level in a specific region needs to be kept in mind. It is observed that neither govt nor general public bother to take such precautionary steps to reduce the damages in case of an earthquake. 'There is an engineering code for designing and constructing a building in quake prone areas. The architects are required to keep in view seismic activity level in the region. But general public usually do not follow the engineering code', said meteorological expert Shaukat Ali Awan, adding, that the public should keep in view the seismic activity level in the area while constructing houses as it would help reduce damages in case of a natural disaster. Quoting example of Japan where quake is a routine, he said that buildings were designed while keeping in view seismic activity level. 'Buildings in Japan are designed in a way that they could withstand against quake shocks upto a specific level. Bridges could withstand against shocks from 6-7 magnitude. Quake can damage these structures but their complete collapse is avoided thus reducing the level of destruction', Awan said. He said that the same measure should be adopted in quake prone areas to reduce damages. He said that mud houses and wood structures could not withstand against frequent shocks of even lower intensity, especially in sloppy areas like in mountainous regions of Balochistan. Buildings constructed with concrete and steel in Quetta and other cities were still intact. Some of them may have developed cracks but they were not completely razed to ground. Such structures have flexibility and they could absorb shocks. Mud houses were completely razed to ground as they could not withstand against series of shocks and aftershocks, the met expert said, adding, the villages on sloppy areas were completely destroyed. He said that houses in such areas should be designed in a way that the wall on one side could support the wall on opposite side in case of a quake shock. He said that design of houses in quake prone mountainous areas should be of that of a inverted V so that the wall on one side could support the wall on other side in case of an earthquake.