Epicentre News Publication

SCOSSO Workshops in Philippines on Safer Schools against Natural Disasters

24 February 2017

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A team of EPICentre research centre, led by Prof Dina D’Ayala and Dr Carmine Galasso conducted a number of training sessions and workshops in two cities of Cagayan de Oro and Manila in the Philippines. These activities are within the SCOSSO (Safer Communities through Safer Schools) project, funded by the EPSRC GCRF Small Grant (£125k), PI: Dr Carmine Galasso, co-I: Prof Dina D'Ayala. The project is a collaboration between UCL EPICentre, De La Salle University (DLSU) and Xavier University, Engineering Resource Centre, looking at safety of school buildings in Phillipiness against natural hazards. These buildings act as critical infrastructure for the country, as they are the main facility of educating the future generation and are also used as the main shelters in case of any emergency.

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The Southeast Asian country is located in an area that has been struck by an inexhaustible number of deadly natural hazards. Making Philippines the most exposed country to tropical storms and one of the most vulnerable places to earthquake and tsunami.

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De La Salle University Hall and Library (Est. 1911)

So far, more than 120 school buildings have been surveyed and their structural and non-structural vulnerability evaluated against various natural hazards such as earthquake, tsunami, flood and typhoons. One of the main objectives of the project is to develop different platforms and tools such as mobile applications to enhance the rapid surveying of school infrastructure and swiftly estimating their physical vulnerability against different hazards. The free app will soon be available on Google Play Store.

Participants of the SCOSSO Workshop in Manila. The attendees included members of different governmental and private institutes and NGOs, such as the Philippine’s Department of Education (DepEd), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), City Government of Makati, Arup, Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS).
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These activities and the collaboration will continue within the PRISMH (Philippines Resilience of School Infrastructure to Multi Hazard) project, from April 2017 until April 2019. The project is funded by the British Council’s Newton Agham Programme through the Institutional Links scheme (£120k to UCL & £150K to DLSU), PI.: Prof Dina D'Ayala, co-I: Dr Carmine Galasso.

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Members of SCOSSO and PRISMH projects Rebekah Yore, Nicola Branchini, Prof Dina D’Ayala, Dr Lessandro Estelito Garciano, Dexter Lo, Arash Nassirpour, Prof Andres Winston C. Oreta