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Group cites lack of engineers to assess buildings after quake

A structural engineer has revealed that there is an insufficient number of engineers who can assess buildings after every earthquake.

In yesterday’s Rapid Assessment for Post-Earthquake seminar by the Structural Engineers Association of Davao (SEAD), several engineers were updated on the proper knowledge on how to properly assess a building.

Allan Botuyan, who headed the SEAD seminar, admitted that the city lacks evaluators of damaged buildings.

“This is to help civil engineers do rapid assessment, because we have insufficient evaluators for damaged building. That is why we conducted this seminar to multiply the knowledge and equip them with proper information so that they may have many coverage,” Botuyan told TIMES in an interview.

He said they are deploying as many engineers as soon as possible to inspect thoroughly the damaged buildings.

“We have an ongoing assessment and inspection, that’s why we have to deploy them right away,” he said.

He said several buildings still have to undergo thorough inspection and assessment as the earthquake has just recently shook the city with a strong force.

“We still don’t know the total picture, as we are still assessing many buildings for damage. We want to deploy as many engineers as possible in the shortest time,” he said.

As of now, they still can’t provide any figures and data as they are still in an ongoing assessment on all establishments in the city. He said this includes distinguishing which establishment should operate, as they are to ensure the safety of many.

“Some buildings are not safe, it is better to be sure,” he said.
“Engineers should really assess, especially those heavily affected establishment buildings, to make sure it is safe for occupancy,” he said.

He is also urging structural engineers to “design their structural engineering design works properly so that the building may be constructed firmly, and can hold greater quake force.”

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