The Faculty of Engineering at the University of Kufa held a symposium on Seismic activity in Iraq and its impact on buildings and infrastructure on Thursday 14/3/2023 in the main hall at the department of Mechanical Engineering. The symposium was sponsored by the university president, Prof. Dr. Yasir Lafta Hassoun, and was supervised by the Faculty of Engineering Dean, Prof. Dr. Hasan Mahdi Al-Khateeb, in corporation with the Directorate of Civil Defense in Najaf.
The symposium was opened by reciting verses from the Holy Quran, followed by the reading of the Iraqi national anthem and Surat Al-Fatihah on the souls of the martyrs of Iraq. Then, the Dean of the College delivered a welcoming speech to the attendees, followed by the speech of the Director of Civil Defense, Brigadier General Rashid Thabet.
During the symposium, three scientific lectures were given by the lecturers of the Civil Engineering Department, which were, respectively:
• A lecture by Prof. Dr. Hussein Ali Abdel Hussein, an introductory lecture on earthquakes and some general concepts.
• A lecture by Assistant Prof. Dr. Saad Jabbar Abbas. It was about global seismic activity, the location of Iraq within the seismic map, and the impact of earthquakes on buildings in general and in particular of strategic importance in the holy city of Najaf (the holy upper shrine), as well as brick buildings. He also referred to the different scientific mechanisms used to deal with loads seismic.
• A lecture by the Dr. Alaa Abd Al-Hussein Abd Ali, which was about seismic loads and the design procedures that can be followed, during which he touched on the different forms of failure that different facilities are exposed to, such as bridges, roads, railways and various buildings, and the records showed the procedures recorded by specialized international blogs to deal with various types of risks that accompany earthquakes and the extent of their application in our country.
• The symposium also included a lecture by the Director of the Fire and Safety Department, Colonel Rabah Saeed, entitled (Civil Defense Procedures before, during and after the occurrence of earthquakes). To be followed in such circumstances and the extent to which there are some necessary requirements for evacuations, rescue and search operations in the event of earthquakes.
At the end of the symposium, the Organizing Committee listened to some interventions from the attendees, as well as answering their questions related to the subject.
The symposium came out on some suggested recommendations about the scientific symposium:
1. The Iraqi earthquake code must be adhered to when preparing and approving structural designs.
2. Refer to specialists in the field of earthquakes when reviewing designs that incorporate earthquakes.
3. Evaluate the existing buildings and try to indicate the extent of their resistance to earthquakes, identify the buildings that are likely to fall, and develop a clear mechanism to preserve them and reduce the risk of their collapse.
.4. Adoption of a clear mechanism by the Civil Defense Directorates to oblige the executing authorities of all facilities, especially those of strategic importance, to provide special safety mechanisms for rescue when such disasters occur.