Pinoy invents device that measures building’s structural integrity

Marje Pelayo   •   August 23, 2019   •   3453

Dr. Francis Aldrine-Uy

MANILA, Philippines – The stability of a structure is best tested during strong earthquakes.

However, inspections usually take days to determine if a building has damage or if it can be declared safe to use.

To help in the process, a Filipino inventor has created a device which can be installed to a structure to measure its strength.

It is called the universal structural health evaluation and recording system (USHER).

Universal structural health evaluation and recording system (USHER).

Dr. Francis Aldrine-Uy said with the device, a building’s structural condition can be assessed just a few hours after an earthquake.

The local government units (LGUs), meanwhile, can immediately direct orders even to the most affected areas right after the device’s assessment is seen.

“Makikita na natin kung nakapula yung mga building na iyon, ibig sabihin nag-suffer ng structural damage ang mga building na iyon after an earthquake (We can see if the buildings are in color red, it means that the building suffered structural damage after the earthquake,)” explained Dr. Uy, the President and CEO of USHER, the inventor of the device.

“Doon po natin i-concentrate ang tulong o ang response na pwede nating madala doon, (That’s where we may concentrate our response,)” he added.

The invention, which is in cooperation with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), can be installed in public facilities like bridges and railways of MRT and LRT.

The device can also measure the degree of intensity when an earthquake strikes.

Regarding the price, Uy said it is way cheaper than those made abroad.

“It could be at least 50% lower in cost,” Dr. Uy said.

“And of course, it will be more sustainable dahil nga ito ay gawang Pinoy at dito natin mina-manufacture (because it’s Filipino made and is locally manufactured),” he added.

Dr. Uy said the instrument can help in mitigating the impact of a strong quake like ‘the Big One’ which is expected to cause massive damages and loss of thousands of lives. – MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

DILG directs LGUs to submit structural assessment report in 90 days for the ‘Big One’

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 27, 2020

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has directed local government units (LGUs) to submit a structural assessment report in 90 days in preparation for the ‘Big One’.

In a press conference on Wednesday (February 26), DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said LGUs are tasked to submit rapid structural assessment of buildings and infrastructures to the DILG and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

“[This is a] part of the effort to fortify buildings and establishments in anticipation of a massive earthquake like the Big One,” he said.

LGUs are also expected to submit action plans in response to the assessment’s findings. The DILG Secretary warned of sanctions against LGUs who will fail to comply.

“We will not automatically file cases to the non-compliant LGUs. Pero magkakaroon ng kaso kapag mayroon ng (but there will be a case if there will be) damage to properties at (and) loss of lives dahil sa negligence ng LGU, (because of the LGUs’ negligence)” Año said.—AAC

9 dead in Turkey after earthquake hits Iran border area

UNTV News   •   February 24, 2020

BASKALE, TURKEY (FEBRUARY 23, 2020)DAMAGED HOMES

Nine people died and hundreds of buildings collapsed in southeastern Turkey on Sunday (February 23) after a magnitude-5.7 earthquake struck near the border with Iran, injuring dozens in villages and towns in both countries, government officials said.

Three of those killed were children and 37 Turks were injured, including nine critically, Turkey’s health ministry said.

The shallow tremor caused more than 1,000 buildings to collapse in Turkey, prompting a brief rescue effort to find those trapped under rubble.

The quake damaged buildings some 90 km (56 miles) to the west in the Turkish city of Van, and to the east in dozens of villages in Iran, where state TV said 75 people were injured including six in hospital, though there were no fatalities.

Crisscrossed by major fault lines, Iran and Turkey are among the most earthquake-prone countries in the world.—Yesim Dikmen via Reuters Connect

Magnitude 5.4 quake rattles Davao Occidental

Robie de Guzman   •   February 20, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – A magnitude 5.4 earthquake rattled parts of Davao Occidental on Thursday afternoon, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) reported.

In its bulletin, Phivolcs said the epicenter of the quake that struck around 5:54 p.m. was traced 35 kilometers southeast of Jose Abad Santos in Davao Occidental.

It had a depth of 190 kilometers and tectonic in origin.

The tremor was felt at intensity III in General Santos City, Tupi and Polomolok in South Cotabato, and Alabel, Saranggani; intensity II in Maasin and Malapatan, Sarangani, and Davao City, while intensity I was felt in Tampakan, South Cotabato.

Phivolcs said there was no reported damage but aftershocks should be expected.

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