Quake expert leads training

Earthquake damage assessment expert Robert Bruce came to Grand Cayman on Monday to train a group of local engineers, architects, building officials and emergency management specialists.

In the event of an earthquake in Cayman, officials must inspect damaged buildings to see if they are safe to inhabit.

“If there is a strong earthquake… there is an awful lot of work to do in a short amount of time,” Mr. Bruce said.

Mr. Bruce, a structural and civil engineer from the US, spoke to two dozen people in a training seminar put together by Hazard Management Cayman Islands.

The course was paid for by the UK Department for International Development.

Hazard Management Cayman Islands is responsible for preparedness, response, mitigation and recovery, among other things.

“One of the main reasons that we have this seminar is to try to establish damage-assessment teams. If we are affected by any hazard, they will already have predetermined locations to go and do their damage assessment,” said McCleary Frederick, director of Hazard Management Cayman Islands.

“The training… is to better equip inspectors that are doing damage assessment to go out and give us a more comprehensive damage assessment and hopefully get it done a lot quicker than we normally have been.”

Earthquake damage assessment is about rapid response, said Mr. Bruce.

“The sooner that somebody can look at a building where there’s believed to be a risk of occupancy, the sooner that can be established, that either people can be back in the building or they shouldn’t and they need to be in a shelter,” Mr. Bruce said.

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