Education on Disasters: Training of Civil Engineers and Integral Risk Management in Seismic Areas.
Santiago de Cuba, Cuba
southeastern region of Cuba is characterized for being a seismic
area, especially in the archipelago due to the closeness of the
tectonic plates of both North America and the Caribbean. This constitutes
a subduction zone and is therefore one of the most dangerous areas.
Studies conducted by the National Center for Seismic Research (CENAIS)
reveal that earthquakes that may occur in this region surpass 7
in the Richter scale, with an intensity of up to 9 in the MSK scale
over an 80 year cycle.
to the impact of earthquakes on engineering works, the role
of civil engineers in seismic areas is pivotal for reconstructing
vital infrastructure - such as public services and building,
industries and commercial areas- and even for dealing with
environmental issues. In order to allow communities to better
prepare to cope with seismic phenomena, it is important to
foster a change in our mindset regarding our efforts to mitigate
risks and thereby increase the chances that seismic events
do not become disasters.
school of Civil Engineer at Universidad de Oriente [Eastern University]
–main institution responsible for training construction professionals
in most of the Cuban eastern region- is undertaking a process for
improving its current curriculum, which includes the implementation
of Integral Seismic Analyses and Risk Integral Management.
on a model developed to adapt this program to the particular characteristics
of this region, a methodology for curriculum administration is being
designed. This is intended to improve all fields of study involved
in the establishment of an integral seismic culture, as well as
to incorporate them, in a coherent and harmonious manner, into the
current civil engineering curriculum –which has a significant
relevance in this region of Cuba. It is also expected to integrate
a number of elements related to engineering works, in terms of prevention,
mitigation, preparedness, emergency, recovery and reconstruction,
into training courses for civil engineers so that their knowledge
and work become more transcendent and permanent.
has proven that it is very important to be aware of existing threats,
knowing of possible responses to emergency situations. But it is
also important to take into account the work to be done to reduce
the level of vulnerability in our environment. The impact of a natural
phenomenon –in this case, an earthquake-, will be reduced
if adequate prevention, mitigation and emergency policies are implemented.
training of civil engineers on all these aspects will contribute
to safeguard our heritage and protect human lives, if a high-intensity
earthquake takes place.
further information, please contact:
By Ingrid Noelia Vidaud Quintana
“Manuel F. Gran” Higher Education Center
Department of Civil Engineering
Universidad de Oriente [Eastern University]
Telephone number: (52) (22) 642908
Fax number: (52) (22) 643186