Workshop debates quake risks

SHARJAH - A workshop that aims to draw the attention of the authorities, decision makers, land use planners and building owners to the degree of risk and potential damage to constructed facilities in the event of severe earthquakes, as well as the necessary precautions that can be taken, opened here on April 20.

By (By a staff reporter)

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Published: Thu 22 Apr 2004, 12:05 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 1:08 PM

The workshop, titled "Earthquake risk mitigation: Recent developments and prospects of applications in the UAE and GCC region", has been organised by the Department of Civil Engineering at the American University of Sharjah (AUS), in collaboration with the UAE Ministry of Public Works and Housing and the US Geological Survey (USGS), at the university's premises.

"This workshop will help educate the concerned parties about the fundamentals of earthquake effects and mitigation measures," said Dr Azm Al Homoud, AUS Professor of Civil Engineering and the Co-chair of the conference with AUS Department of Civil Engineering Chair Dr Jamal Abdalla.

The event features speakers from the AUS and the USGS and is designed to raise the level of awareness of practising engineers about the nature of earthquakes and their effect on buildings, reclaimed land, bridges, dams, offshore facilities and ports.

Additionally, the workshop will lay the foundation for further development of codes and regulations for earthquake resistant design of buildings and infrastructure.

Dr Leland Blank, Dean of the AUS School of Engineering, Dr Sallie Sheppard, AUS Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs, and Dr Mehrhet Celebi, Manager, USGS, were present along with senior government officials, industry experts and academics. The AUS Civil Engineering Department has already been working with the UAE Ministry of Public Works and Housing to establish guidelines that will make UAE buildings more earthquake resistant.

According to Dr Al-Homoud, the UAE's proximity to the Zagros Fault and its location near the edge of the Arabian Plate makes it vulnerable.

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