Structural expert assures cracks found not alarming-A A +A
Thursday, October 17, 2013
CRACKS found on the walls of Cogon Public Market after Cagayan de Oro City experienced an earthquake on Tuesday should not be a cause for alarm, said a structural engineer Wednesday.
“The cracks are not serious. The building is safe at intensity 4, and we can sleep on this,” said Engr. Antonio Acupan of the Association of Structural Engineers of the Philippines (Asep).
Acupan was the expert sent by the City Government to inspect Cogon market after an intensity 4 earthquake hit the city.
“So far, as a structural engineer, the result of the damage is not serious,” Acupan said referring to his evaluation about the condition of the market.
Acupan said concrete building cracks are expected, however, he suggested that the stocks inside the Unitop Department Store located on the market’s second floor should be three feet from the wall and the height of the pile should only be 10 feet.
He added: “Although business as usual, but the occupants should comply with the suggestions.”
Structural Code of 2001
“Cogon Market can withstand an earthquake with a magnitude of 8 if the engineers followed the correct design according to the Structural Code of 2001,” said Acupan.
Acupan said Cogon was constructed in 2000 and it should've followed the structural code that can survive a temblor.
However, Acupan said he needs the plans of the building to see the “whole thing” that involves the building plan.
“Iba ang plano, iba ang construction (The plan is different from the construction),” Acupan said addressing the question if the building complied with the Structural Code of 2001.
He added that he requested the city building officials and engineers to produce the building plan for further investigation.
“If the earthquake was intensity 7, and they follow the code, the building can resist,” Acupan said.
Arlene Jasmin, a vegetable dealer from Cogon Market, is worried believing that the market was not constructed well, and that it might not withstand a stronger quake.
“Kung magdala ka og kariton nga puno, molihok na ‘na (If your cart is full, it will move) said the vendor, referring to what vendors experienced on the second floor of the market.
“Kung lig-on pa dili unta ingon-ana,” said Ruel Edpanina, a Yakult vendor, as he pointed out the cracks on the walls of the market that the structural engineer deemed not serious.
Edpanina said that the market was hastily made.
“The other buildings did not have any damage,” said Edpanina, comparing the stability of Cogon market to other buildings around it.
He fears of another earthquake that could hit the city again.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on October 17, 2013.