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Turkey to train civil engineer 'army' for post-earthquake building assessment work

THE TURKISH Chamber of Civil Engineers is to train a volunteer army of civil engineers to carry out urgent building assessments following last month's earthquake.

Turkey's equivalent of the Institution of Civil Engineers will use local academics to instruct up to 600 civil engineers on how to carry out the inspections.

The engineers will be required to tag buildings as having suffered heavy, medium or light damage. Those with heavy damage will be demolished, while those with light damage will be assessed for retro-fit reinforcement. It is still to be decided whether buildings suffering medium damage should be strengthened or demolished.

In a separate initiative, the Turkish government is also approaching international consultants to carry out building assessments. It took over responsibility for building inspections in the worst hit districts from municipal building inspectors two weeks ago.

The move follows criticism of the lack of progress on evaluating damage and making buildings safe. Up to 200,000 people are living in tents because their homes have been destroyed or they are unsure if it is safe to re- enter them.

Richard Thompson

Construction Minister Nick Raynsford is to lead a construction industry mission Turkey. The delegation leaves on 19 September.

(See feature page 16).

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