"Engineers have an ethical responsibility to respect and respond to value judgments that society has made. Society considers it unacceptable to sustain significant loss of life in an earthquake. This is and must remain the top priority. However, society also considers that significant heritage buildings should be respected and retained when possible and appropriate…"
This PDF has been circulating in the wilds of the email world...
We are unaware of its status, date etc but it is an interesting and encouraging read.
It is attributed to
Dr Stefano Pampanin MIPENZ (President, New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering Inc.) and
John Hare MIPENZ (President, Structural Engineering Society New Zealand Inc.)
You can download the document here.