Structural Engineer Filip Kirazov Assists in the Albania Earthquake Recovery with SARAID

Two weeks after the late November, 6.4 magnitude earthquake in Albania, ‘Search and Rescue Assistance in Disasters’ (SARAID) deployed four structural engineers to the country to support the disaster response of the Albanian Government.

In-country SARAID joined an international effort led by a joint European Civil Protection/United Nations team. Filip Kirazov, a Senior Structural Engineer from our London office and Urban Search and Rescue Engineer with SARAID, was sent to Durres to assist Albanian engineers in carrying out structural damage inspections and assessments.

The UK team spent eight consecutive days in the field assessing the habitability of residential structures and exchanging knowledge and expertise with their Albanian counterparts. As well as technical support, where appropriate, the SARAID engineers provided social support to the affected local community.

In the latter part of the deployment, Filip’s team was paired with experts from the Albanian Development Fund (ADF), where he advised on complex technical cases of earthquake damage to multi-storey hotels in the most affected area of Durres.

During the length of the mission, the SARAID team was faced with the challenge of understanding the Albanian construction typologies and seismic design provisions, while also attempting to be sensitive and appropriate in the social context of a disaster affected community and the politics of an international response effort. Additionally, the UK Engineers kept in touch with members of the mission of the Hellenic Society of Earthquake Engineering and set up a meeting to exchange intelligence with the Earthquake Engineering Field Investigation Team (EEFIT), who also had a team in-country.

Wardell Armstrong is proud to support SARAID with its vital and urgent recovery work. Filip would like to the Firm for their support, flexibility and allowing him to join this deployment at a very short notice. The British charity SARAID, is a 100% volunteer organisation which relies on donations for all training and deployment activities.

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