Adf Engineers Assess Structural Damage In Padang

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14th October 2009, 01:28pm - Views: 1064

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Issued by Ministerial Support and Public Affairs, Department of Defence, Canberra, ACT

Phone: 02 6127 1999, Fax: 02 62656946

MSPA 340/09

Wednesday, 14 October 2009



Army civil engineers and construction specialists are putting their skills to use in

assessing buildings that can be salvaged in Padang after the earthquake that hit the

region almost two weeks ago.

ADF teams, in co-ordination with AusAID, the Department of Foreign Affairs and

Trade and the Indonesian government, are providing structural assessments to

determine what is repairable.

Army Engineer Sergeant Chris Jones says the assessment process has posed its

challenges for the team.

“Looking from a builder’s perspective, construction methods are very similar around

the world, the difference is the quality of the materials,” Sergeant Jones said.

“We are looking at a lot of superficial damage to partition walls that don’t carry any

of the structural weight. These walls can be replaced or repaired without affecting the

ability of the building to remain standing,” Sergeant Jones said.

Many buildings only reveal the extent of damage on closer inspection.

Adding to the danger of collapse, many disaster victims are seeking refuge in

buildings, but have no idea of the danger they are in.

Civil engineer Captain Peter Cronkhorn says with so few buildings left standing for

shelter, assessing the city’s main hospital unsafe has been a difficult decision.

“The ground floor is still being used in a limited capacity but there is damage to the

columns and you can see where parts of the building have shifted,” Captain

Cronkhorn said.

“In this case, we are recommending the staff move people and equipment to buildings

at the back of the hospital grounds until the main building can be rebuilt.

The community needs this facility to remain open at the moment so we need to find

the best solution for everyone”, Captain Cronkhorn said.

Media note: An ADF spokesperson in Indonesia is available for telephone interview.

Imagery will be available at:


Media contact: Defence Media Liaison: 02 6127 1999 or 0408 498 664

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