Forensic team to conduct checks on public buildings

JOHOR BARU: The Works Ministry will be sending a forensic team to conduct studies on the structures of public buildings that were affected by the earthquake in the Ranau, Sabah earthquake.

Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof said that his ministry had identified 20 public buildings that were destroyed in the 5.9 magnitude earthquake last week.

He said that the study would be conducted over five days to determine whether the buildings, including schools, hospitals, mosques and government offices, were safe or not.

He added that there was already a team conducting such studies in Sabah but the ministry would send three to five more forensic experts from their headquarters to support the research.

“The outcome of the research will determine the form of actions to be taken based on the safety of the buildings,” he said after launching the Works Department senior officers meeting in Persada Johor here on June 8.

Separately, Fadillah said that there was a pressing need to equip buildings with earthquake resistant codes especially in places that faced such risks.

He said that University Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) researchers who conducted a study on the matter for the past eight years have developed such code, which could be implemented in Ranau and other places in the state.

However, he said the code needed to be refined on its implementations and views have to be taken from various parties before being discussed in Parliament.

“We will also discuss and present the suggestion to the government to come up with a new policy as it involves implications, cost and so on,” he added.

Fadillah said that currently only the Penang Bridge uses such code to absorb motion.

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