No building to reopen unless checked by Engineers – DPWH advise

Friday, February 17, 2017

The Department of Public Works and Highways advises against the re-opening of any buildings in Surigao City unless they were checked by Engineers.

In an attempt to mitigate the risk brought by the 6.7 magnitude earthquake that caused the crumpling of façade of some buildings or severe cracking on its concrete structures, DPWH Assistant Secretary Dimas S. Soguilon, after making a round of inspection with Regional Director Danilo E. Versola on Monday, Feb. 13, directed Structural Engineers to declare in full details the structural condition of all affected public buildings along with an issuance of expert certification.

Six people were reported dead and 125 have been hurt when the earthquake shook Surigao City at 10:03 PM on Friday.

“The advisory is to seek first full detail inspection by a Structural Engineer with recommendation for repair and rehabilitation or total closure and reconstruction before any public building is re-open for public use”, said Asec. Soguilon.

He added, “This recommendation applies to all private and public buildings, especially schools, hospitals, malls, and terminals that were badly affected because we have observed that the damage may worsen through periodic aftershocks”.

A team of inspectorate from the members of the Philippine Institute of Civil Engineers (PICE) and Association of Structural Engineers in the Philippines (ASEP) already arrived in Surigao City Monday, Feb. 13 to assist in the conduct of damage assessment after DPWH Secretary Mark Villar over a press statement during his visit in Surigao City Feb. 12, ordered the mobilization of structural engineers to complement the workforce of the government and speeding up the procedure on inspection of various public infrastructures including government buildings.

“We are in need of their capability to evaluate the damage on certain structures because there is a large scale of destruction that poses great risk to the people, thus we need to at least reduce this risk close to zero”, Asec. Soguilon said.

Meanwhile, ask on the condition of national highway, Asec. Dimas replied that “there is no total closure of arterial roads, except at severely affected bridges that were partially closed for heavy vehicles as the structures are destabilized by the tremor.”

DPWH 13 reported 5 bridges damaged along the Lipata-Surigao Section and Surigao-San Juan Coastal Road; Malico Bridge, Kinabutan Bridge I and II, and Friendship RCDG Bridge and Banahaw Bridge, respectively, while along Surigao Wharf Road and other national road such as Surigao-Davao Coastal road, Magpayang-Mainit road and Surigao-San Juan Coastal road suffered isolated longitudinal cracks with disintegration of pavement and minor cracks. All roads are passable to all types of vehicle.

The Anao-aon Bridge in San Francisco, under the Provincial Road of Surigao del Norte, which collapsed is also included in the immediate rescue and clearing operation and is recommended for new construction in an amount of P115 Million.