Fourth Session of the IPRED and UNESCO-IPRED Workshop on “Protecting Structures, Saving Lives”

Dates: 26-28 July 2011
Venue: Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago de Chile

The UNESCO-IPRED Workshop on “Protecting Structures, Saving Lives”, organized by the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (PUC) and supported by UNESCO and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), was held on 26-28 July 2011 in Chile.

IPRED group getting ready for the visit of the Titanium Building

Mr. Wataru Hayashi, Japanese ambassador to Chile, the vice Rector of PUC, and the Dean of the PUC Faculty of Engineering made opening remarks. Speakers invited to participate in the workshop included Chilean scientists –seismologists, earthquake engineers and building professionals– as well as guest speakers from nine other earthquake-prone countries (Australia, El Salvador, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Peru, Romania and Turkey). Representatives of UNESCO and JICA also participated and made presentations on their activities for reducing earthquake disasters.

The sessions of the workshop focused mainly on the outcomes of recent major earthquake disasters including those that took place in Indonesia in 2009, in Chile in 2010, and in Japan in 2011. Lessons learned from these major earthquakes were shared. The safety issues concerning communities, public structures and housing safety, and particularly how to improve the structural strength of both engineered and non-engineered buildings, were discussed in depth as well as tsunami-related safety issues.

Signature of the Letter of Intent between the Pontifical University Catholic of Chile and UNESCO in cooperation with IISEE

New technologies and techniques for disaster reduction were also discussed. These sessions gave a fresh push forward to disaster preparedness and mitigation initiatives in Chile and in the rest of the world.

A Letter of Intent was signed between PUC and UNESCO in cooperation with the IISEE during the workshop’s closing ceremony, (see Appendix 4). Closing remarks were offered by the Head of the PUC department of structural and geotechnical engineering, the Dean of the PUC Faculty of Engineering, and a reppresentative of the UNESCO Office in Santiago, on behalf of its Director.

On the third day of the workshop, 28 July 2010, the participants were invited to a field trip in Santiago in order to evaluate the behaviour of different technologies in particular buildings after the earthquake occurred on 11 March 2010.

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