A group of Physics Masters students, joined by Dr. Isam Al-Ashqar, visited the Urban Planning and Disaster Risk Reduction Centre at An-Najah National University. The visit aimed at learning about the activities of the Centre; the how to operate its devices, donated by the SASPARM Project.
Mr. Walaa Ajaj welcomed the students and briefed them on the Centre, its objectives and duties. He also introduced them to the other devices at the Centre used for seismic studies.
The students then went on a tour with Dr. Jalal Dabbeek, Director of the Centre, learning about the laboratories’ devices and models. For example, the shaking table, which is used in modeling constructions and conducting dynamic studies. The tour was followed by a lecture from Dr. Dabbeek entitled “Reducing earthquake risks in Palestine”.
Dr. Dabbeek opened his lecture with a general introduction about the risks and potential losses as a result of earthquakes. He explained the key elements controlling losses, the use of pre-assessment and analysis of disaster risks generally, and earthquakes particularly, in addition to explaining the factors that control the management process of these risks,He also introduced “The Earthquake Risk Reduction Project in Palestine (SASPARM)”, which is being carried out by An-Najah in cooperation with the European Earthquake Engineering Center (EUCENTRE) and IUSS Institute in Pavia, Italy, within European projects (FP7).
Dr. Dabbeek also introduced “The Earthquake Risk Reduction Project in Palestine (SASPARM)”. He explained how the history of earthquakes, the reasons for their occurrence and extent of their impact on Palestine and neighbouring areas. He went on to describe the region and the possibility of exposure to earthquakes in the future, including the Richter scale, as well as identifying centres/ epicenter of these earthquakes. Furthermore, he gave an overview of the types of buildings in Palestine, which are considered vulnerable to earthquakes, how to prepare risk maps, and how to conduct a rapid assessment of the damage to infrastructure after a disaster, describing the various classifications of damages that are used in accordance with the European Union EMS. 98.
During the latter part of the lecture, Dr. Dabbeek reviewed the priorities for action in accordance with the Hyogo Frame work for action for the period between (2005-2015), including a Pan-Arab strategy to reduce the risks of disasters (2011-2020). It forms part of the campaign for World Disaster Reduction entitled "Enabling Cities to Cope With Disasters, he also explained the element keys to build the resilient of nations and communities to disasters.
He also gave details to the students about the numbers of publications related to public awareness, prevention and configuration procedures before, during and after an earthquake, and where to find these bulletins, lectures and training courses: available of the SASPARM website.
At the end of the lecture Dr. Dabbeek answered questions from the students.
- The SASPARM Project devices are a Seismometre (for measuring the natural frequency of the soil and buildings) and Seismograph (to examine soil layers and depths, in addition to determining the quality and strength of rocks in these layers).
- SASPARM is carried out by An-Najah in cooperation with the European Earthquake Engineering Center (EUCENTRE) and IUSS Institute in Pavia, Italy, within the FP7 group of European projects.