Engineers rely price of rebuilding in quake-hit, war-weary Syria

Idlib, Syria – Engineers have been painstakingly assessing the security of buildings in northwestern Syria, which was devastated by earthquakes this month after years of battle and bombardments that had already destroyed properties and hospitals.

Since the primary earthquake struck the Turkey-Syria border area on February 6, a whole lot of households in Idlib have been sheltering on agricultural land. Their properties had been both flattened or so broken that they had been rendered uninhabitable.

The Idlib authorities have mentioned that greater than 100 cities, cities and villages in that area alone had been affected, with 812 buildings demolished and 5,937 broken.

The Syrian Engineers Association in Idlib is working with the native administration to examine buildings which might be nonetheless standing after the earthquakes and 1000’s of highly effective aftershocks.

Syrian Engineers
Syrian engineers assess the security of buildings after the earthquakes [Ali Haj Suleiman/Al Jazeera]

“About 20 buildings [several storeys high] are inspected daily by the engineering committee,” mentioned civil engineer Mustafa Haj Lattouf, who heads one of many structural security committees in Idlib. They examine about 40 homes a day as properly.

Ammar Abdul Qayyum, who needed to flee his home after the temblors, mentioned: “About half of my house was destroyed as a result of the earthquake, in addition to the cracks in the rest of the remaining walls, and it is no longer habitable.”

The 44-year-old, who has 4 kids and is from Kafar Takharim metropolis in Idlib, advised Al Jazeera that he’s at present living with relations. His personal home will take a very long time to restore, and that, too, at an exorbitant price.

Ammar Abdul Qayyum
Half of Ammar Abdul Qayyum’s home was broken and he mentioned the price of repairing it was too excessive [Ali Haj Suleiman/Al Jazeera]

Lattouf mentioned the engineers started their work the morning after the primary earthquake, submitting experiences to the authorities after every inspection to “clarify whether it is habitable, whether it must be destroyed, or if the home needs reinforcement”.

The job is delicate. Lattouf advised Al Jazeera that some buildings are clearly inclined, so the committee attracts a topographical layer to find out the extent of the construction’s verticality. If the slope is just too steep then a call is taken instantly to destroy it.

Mustafa Haj Lattouf
Mustafa Haj Lattouf is a civil engineer checking on the security of buildings [Ali Haj Suleiman/Al Jazeera]

“A committee of engineers came to us to assess the situation of the building, and they told us that the building is in good condition, but it needs restoration and consolidation before returning to it,” Abdul Qayyum advised Al Jazeera.

“It is very difficult to see the house that I put all my life savings to purchase in its current condition, but what relieved me is that my family was not harmed by any means.”

On Monday evening, two new earthquakes rattled the realm. The head of Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency mentioned six individuals died and 294 had been injured. Opposition-run rescue group the White Helmets, often known as the Syrian Civil Defence, mentioned greater than 190 individuals had been injured and a number of other broken buildings collapsed.

“We haven’t had a chance to catch our breath, gather our strength and improve our psyche yet to get impacted by another earthquake which hit us yesterday,” mentioned Ahmed Arour, from Armanaz metropolis within the western countryside of Idlib.

“The new earthquake brought us back more fright and weakness than before,” the 30-year-old advised Al Jazeera.

Ahmed Arour, From Armanaz City In The Western Countryside Of Idlib
Ahmed Arour mentioned it’s tough to return to his home though it’s liveable [Ali Haj Suleiman/Al Jazeera]

Arour, who has 4 kids, mentioned that because the first earthquake on February 6, he and his household went to one of many camps near the city, the place 5 to 6 households reside in tents, and that he has not returned to his home since. His home remains to be liveable regardless of some injury.

“When we left the house, we witnessed a number of nearby buildings collapsing, and as a result, I lost many of my neighbours,” Arour mentioned. “I can’t see myself ever going again to reside in my home after the earthquake. I don’t need what occurred to my neighbours to occur to my household.

“Our hearts can no longer bear it, as with every aftershock, a state of panic and fear afflicts the camp’s residents,” he added.

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