Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 13th 2013 Contents A10
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Friday, September 13, 2013
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Dr Joan Latchman, director of the University of
the West Indies (UWI) Seismic Research Centre
(SRC), says it will take some time for her team to
respond to the geo-technical report on the $1.5 bil-
lion Couva Children s Hospital which was released
by the Urban Development Corporation (Udecott)
on Tuesday night.
Ten days after it was promised, the report, by Earth
Investigations Systems Ltd (EISL), was uploaded on
Tuesday night to its Web site at www.udecott.com.
Accompanying documents, including a position
paper by Dr Derek Gay on the geo-technical site
investigations and a paper on appropriate setback
widths for active faults, were uploaded for public
Housing Minister Dr Roodal Moonilal in a text
message to the T&T Guardian after the documents
were uploading said:
"All reports are now on Udecott s Web site news
and events . That s transparency."
The documents were released in response to con-
cerns among seismologists and structural engineers
over the hospital s location at Preysal, close to the
earthquake-prone Central Range Faultline (CRF.)
Latchman, in a T&T Guardian article last month,
said the CRF had the potential to generate a 7.5 mag-
nitude earthquake if it ruptured.
In an e-mail yesterday Latchman said the specialists
at the SRC "will need to consider the document and
discuss our various assessments."
She added that the response would take some
Latchman is the sister of William Latchman, chair-
man of the Deportee Task Force (DTF). He died last
week of a heart attack.
Gay, in his commentary on the geo-technical inves-
tigations disagreed with Latchman s argument that
the CRF had the potential for a 7.5 magnitude earth-
He said: "The calculations based on these geodetic
measurements resulting in much higher than normal
magnitudes appear to be premature at this time and
we cannot be justified in incorporating these in
current seismic hazard assessments."
Pigeons flock around a man feeding them at Woodford Square, Port-of-Spain, yesterday. PHOTO: NICOLE
Gay concluded that in his exercise of due diligence
in his capacity as a practitioner of geo-technical
engineering and engineering seismology, and having
examined the findings presented in the research lit-
erature to date, "their assertions were insufficiently
reliable and rigorous to be adopted into public policy
and codes of practice at the current time."
However, he said: "Should the SRC, through their
due diligence, be convinced of the reliability of this
new groundbreaking hazard then this should, and
must, be brought to the attention of all relevant
stakeholders in a clear and unambiguous manner,
via consultations, in order to chart a way forward
Geologist Dr Krishna Persad is expected to return
to T&T this evening and will review the released
Engineers Anonymous, a group of engineers who
have expressed concerns about the project, in response
to the release of the report, said:
"Dr Gay has insisted all along that the hospital
site is not close enough to the projected superficial
fault or potential rupture lines to warrant any special
investigation. Is this correct? Or do we have to worry
about unusually large ground displacements?"
The executive of the Media Asso-
ciation (Matt) says it has finalised
a subcommittee to look into how
conflicting information was released
on behalf of the organisation by the
former executive during the allega-
tions in July of political interference
at the T&T Guardian.
The committee is expected to report
on the processes used and recommend
structures and protocols to be put in
place to avoid a recurrence of a similar
Headed by veteran journalist Tony
Fraser, the subcommitte will also
include former Matt president Dale
Enoch and Paul Charles, a former
journalist and former communications
manager at RBC Royal Bank.
Protocol officer of the Judiciary
Jones P Madeira has agreed to advise
the committee when necessary.
The committee has been given a
deadline of October 12 to deliver its
report to the executive and the results
will be presented to the membership
at a general meeting to be held on
Matt said in a release yesterday that
the investigation will not centre on
whether there was political interfer-
ence at the Guardian, "but rather the
way information was disseminated by
the former executive and protocols to
guide future executives."
Matt has also set up a subcommit-
tee to find a permanent home for it.
"At this time," the executive
explained, "Matt depends on the gen-
erosity of various media houses to
hold its executive and general meet-
International grant funding will be
sought for this project.
This committee will be chaired by
former diplomat Mark Regis and will
include veteran journalist Lennox
Grant and president of the Energy
Chamber Dr Thackwray Driver.
President of the Association of
Caribbean Workers Wesley Gibbings
will serve as an adviser to the com-
Matt said further developments
would be presented at next month s
Experts need time
to study report
on hospital site
Matt committee to probe
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