Tuesday 22 October, 2019

Engineers to inspect government buildings after earthquake damage

A response team tasked with inspecting Government buildings is currently being put together by the Ministry of Works and Transport (MOWT).

The announcement came on Wednesday as National Security Minister Stuart Young said structural damage following the magnitude 6.9 earthquake on Tuesday is being treated on a case by case basis.

The team, comprising qualified and experienced personnel in building infrastructure is being dispatched across all regions on a priority basis to determine the structural safety of government buildings for occupancy. 

In the instance of privately owned property, landlords are advised to conduct inspections and have them evaluated by the Ministry of Works and Transport.

Those with concerns for government building are asked to submit their request via email to the following persons:  Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Works and Transport-syearwood@mowt.gov.tt, Chief Technical Officer, Ministry of Works and Transport- pramlogan@mowt.gov.tt, Chief Technical Officer, Ministry of Works and Transport-mjagdeo@mowt.gov.tt, Director of Construction- lmohammed@mowt.gov.tt, and Chief Designs Engineer- mfeveck@gmail.com.   

Persons who rent and lease private buildings to government agencies are required to undertake the necessary assessments of their building which may require the use of private consultancy firms.

The Works Ministry advised that this evaluation should include, but is not limited to the: Structural assessment of buildings, assessment of all mechanical and electrical systems, assessment of plumbing and sewer systems, and assessment of elevator lifts.

Completed reports should be duly signed and certified by competent personnel and submitted to the Director of Construction, Latiff Mohammed, Ministry of Works and Transport. A soft copy of this report should also be emailed to lmohammed@mowt.gov.tt.   

Facility Managers in particular are advised to pay close attention to this information as Government says the safety of all workers and building occupants are of paramount importance.

In the even that persons require further information and clarification, they can contact the Designs Engineering Branch at 625-6813 or email at communications@mowt.gov.tt.   

Meanwhile, Young said while Trinidad and Tobago currently does not have buildings codes, the structural integrity of buildings across the country withstood yesterday's tremors.

He also took the opportunity to dispel 'fake news' concerning the structural integrity of the Cathedral along Hart Street in Port-of-Spain. 

Young said the Chief Fire Officer confirmed that the Fire Service has not reported any such instance of the building being on the verge of collapse. 


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