Pinoy invents device that measures building’s structural integrity
Marje Pelayo • August 23, 2019 • 2613
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).
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)
In their Facebook page, they put up their works for sale. All the proceeds will go to the victims of the Itbayat earthquake.
Like a digital art gallery, the Facebook page of Bayanihan para sa Batanes is filled with moments — moments of nature, of people captured in the eyes of various photographers.
According to one of the photographers, RA Valderama, it all started with a group of friends who dearly love Batanes.
“It started by just selling a few photos, and calling attention of other photographers who want to help as well in this advocacy” he said.
Bayanihan has also proven itself limitless, it is not just about neighbors helping neighbors. According to Valderama, more than a dozen photographers across the country have submitted their works for the campaign.
“Before we know it we are almost 50 in number,” he said.
The spirit of bayanihan today goes beyond the willingness to share your physical strength. For these photographers as long as they can, they will.
Valderama said they are still open for more photographers.
“We still accept photographers who want to share their art and help this cause,” he said.—AAC
MANILA, Philippines – Two vessels of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) are on their way to Batanes province to bring relief goods and supplies for the victims of two successive earthquakes that jolted Itbayat town last July 27.
The PCG said the ships called BRP Malabrigo and BRP Capones are carrying relief goods and supplies including tents (steel frame and tent cover), sleeping kits, laminated sack roles (lona), boxes of canned goods, noodles, bottled water, toiletries, powdered milk and packs of rice.
The supplies, which were loaded on the ships on Wednesday (July 31), were from the Department of Social Welfare and Development and the PCG Auxilliary.
The vessels left on Thursday morning but it remains unclear on when the ships will arrive in Batanes due to strong waves, according to the PCG.
According to PCG Commandant Admiral Elson Hermogino, three vessels including the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources’ BRP Francisco Dagohoy have been tasked to conduct a transport mission to Batanes.
The PCG also deployed its Islander plane with medical teams on board to assist the Department of Health (DOH) personnel attending to the medical needs of residents affected by the earthquakes.
The Department of National Defense (DND) admitted that the government is having difficulty in reaching out to the earthquake victims in Batanes.
DND Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said that aside from the distance, they lack the necessary transport facilities, such as choppers or C-130s, to bring assistance to the town of Itbayat.
“It’s so far away, the nearest chopper is from Tuguegarao, Cagayan. Siguro iyan iyong challenge natin [Maybe our challenge is] how to get there and to attend to the injured and maybe recover or retrieve some of those natabunan [buried alive],” he said.
Basco Airport also could not accommodate large airplanes that are supposed to transport big volumes of medical and other supplies because its runway is only 800 meters.
“We are using Airforce C130 to go from Clark and Manila to Basco. And then from Basco, we load it on boats. And (it’s) three hours iyon by boat,” said Rene Meily, President of Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation.
The Office of Civil Defense said the government has sufficient supply of food, water, and other necessities, with the help of several civic groups.
They are looking forward, though, to the time when the runway will be longer for better delivery of services.
OCD Deputy Administrator for Operations Asec Casiano Monilla said, “Ang sinasabi natin na operations na will take time, of course, iyong sabi nga ng DOTr [The operations that will take time, of course, is what the DOTR was saying, that] they are looking on improving the airports, the airstrip para maka accommodate ng mas malaking [to accommodate larger] aircraft. And siguro tinitingnan natin iyong magkaroon ng breakwater ang Itbayat [We are also looking into building a breakwater in Itbayat].” (with reports from Mai Bermudez) /mbmf
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