1st I-Geo Seminar Series - 4 April 2014 Seminar On Landslide Forecasting And Control Technology

Natural Disasters namely floods, landslides, tsunami, sinkholes and earthquake are very frequent this days and it brings immense loss to lives and property. The International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) defines a disaster as a serious disruption of the functioning of a community or a society involving wide spread human, material, economic or environmental losses and impact which exceeds the ability of the affected community or society to cope using its own resources.

In tropical countries like Malaysia, most landslides are triggered by heavy rainfall. From 1973 – 2012, the total economic loss due to landslides was estimated above US $1 billion. More than 100 hill slopes had been identified by Malaysian Public Works Department (PWD) as risky for possible landslides. One of the sectoral report of Malaysia clearly mentioned about 49 landslides cases   out of which 88% are recognised with manmade slopes. It also declares that along with poor designing, incompetency, casualness, raw input data are also contributing in this frequent fact of slides. The key problem which the control of landslide hazard is the prediction of landslide fatalness, successful landslide forecast can consumedly decrease the loss caused by landslide hazard.

However, these effects could be minimized and considerable losses of life and property could be avoided through improved risk assessment, early warning, disaster forecasting and monitoring. Risk assessment provides information about the combined effect of hazard and vulnerability, allowing improved risk reduction and mitigation. The outcome of early warning information on the onset of potential disasters can improve preparedness in the affected area.

The main objectives of the seminar are as follows :

  • To generate public awareness on landslide disaster in Malaysia.
  • To provide a platform for experts to share experiences and knowledge of the best professional judgement of landslides forecasting and controlling technology.
2nd I-Geo Seminar Series - 17 June 2014 Seminar On Forecasting Flood And Control Technology

Floods in Malaysia are regular natural disasters which happen every year during the monsoon season. Besides due to its geographical location, most floods that occur are a natural result of cyclical monsoons during the local tropical wet season that are characterized by heavy and regular rainfall that strikes from October to March. Inadequate drainage in many urban areas also enhance the effects of heavy rain, though efforts are underway to resolve this. Floods cause damage to properties and also endanger lives and preparedness of the community and government agencies to handle an emergency flood situation is important to minimize losses.

Flood forecasting is an important component of flood warning, where the distinction between the two is that the outcome of flood forecasting is a set of forecast time-profiles of channel flows or river levels at various locations, while “flood warning” is the task of making use of these forecasts to make decisions about whether warnings of floods should be issued to the general public or   whether previous warnings should be rescinded or retracted.

Preparing the public for emergency flood response is outside the scope of hydrology although in an emergency flood situation, Department of Irrigation and Drainage Malaysia (DID) vehicles, boats and personnel are sometimes mobilized to assist in evacuation and related activities. To DID, in particular to the Hydrology Division, flood preparedness would mean preparedness to   provide flood warning and forecasting services. For the purpose of flood forecasting, DID has set up a central Flood Forecasting Centre (FFC) at DID Ampang. This center manned 24 -hours by teams working on shifts should there be any indication of impending severe floods in the country.

The main objectives of the seminar are as follows :

  • To highlight the flood forecasting procedure and technology available.
  • To identified various available flood control technology in arresting flood impact.

3rd I-Geo Seminar Series - 20 October 2014 Seminar On And Earthquake Risk In Malaysia

Most Malaysian would believe that this country is not prone to tsunami and earthquakes. But this is totally not true since the experts have different views based on their knowledge and research. One of the evidence is the occurrence of terrific attacked of tsunami on 26 December 2004 which affected northern coastal areas in Peninsular Malaysia and outlying islands like Langkawi and Penang. This natural disaster was caused by earthquake in the Indian Ocean with the magnitude about 9.0 on the Richter scale. Total number of deaths in Malaysia were estimated almost 70 people and many houses in the fishing village were damaged. Therefore, it is very important to cultivate public awareness and consciousness about the risk of this hazard since it is no more trivial tragedy to be snubbed.

Besides, there are few more evidences on the occurrence of mild earthquakes in Malaysia. Back in 2012, the Malaysian Meteorological Department (MMD) had detected eight earthquakes in the eastern part of the country, in Sabah and Sarawak with the Richter scale between 2 and 4.5. There were about six earthquakes had occurred in Sabah (Tambunan, Kota Marudu, Kudat, Beluran, Kunak and Keningau) and two earthquakes had occurred in Belaga, Sarawak. In Malaysia history, the strongest earthquakes recorded was believed had occurred in 1976 in Lahat Datu, Sabah with a magnitude of 5.8 on the Richter scale.

Research findings also stated that the construction of major dams and reservoirs, or the pumping of pollutants deep in the subsurface, can alter the stress and strain on the earth’s crust, creating “induced seismicity” which can cause minor earthquakes and tremors. The basis of the earthquakes design for the buildings in Malaysia are now should be considered, experts stated about the probabilistic seismic hazard assessment for Malaysia including the Peninsular Malaysia, Sarawak and Sabah. The study concluded that seismic design should be considered for high rise buildings on deep or soft soil site on the western side of the Peninsular Malaysia and for all buildings in Sabah.

The main objectives of the seminar are as follows:

  • To cultivate public awareness and highlight the geological formation and potential risk of earthquake and tsunami in Malaysia
  • To discuss the control technology on warning system of tsunami and earthquake design criteria for buildings in Malaysia.
4th I-Geo Seminar Series - 27 April 2015 Pavement Industry In Malaysia – Present And Future!!

Pavement industry is one of the backbone industries contributing to the prosperity of the nation and mobility of business and social network by providing and maintaining reasonable road infrastructure. The seminar is designed to focus on the development of pavement industry in Malaysia encompassing several aspects including policy and technology, design and maintenance,construction and quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC) as well as equipment and machineries used. Papers written by personnel representing relevant government agencies, practitioners and players of the industry will be presented and discussed, touching on the perspective of the industry, present and future and perhaps the way forwards.

The main objectives of the seminar are as follows:

  • Better understanding of government policy and technology.
  • Academic perspective on the pavement industry.
  • Identifying the important factors in pavement design and maintenance
5th I-Geo Seminar Series - 15 June 2015 “Landslide Hazards And Disaster Management”

Millions of people are affected by natural and human induced environmental hazards and disasters every year, and the impact can be calamitous. From the destruction of building to the spread of disease, it can devastate entire countries overnight. The unplanned growth of urban populations and economies drives exposure to natural hazards ever higher. At the same time poor natural resource management and urban expansion create environmental stresses that exacerbate the impact of hazards such as floods and landslides.

Going forward, the future holds new challenges as climate patterns change. Some of question we hope to answer for each possible natural disaster are: Where is each type of hazard likely to be present and why? What scientific principles govern the processes reasonable for the disasters? How often do these hazards develop into disasters? How can each type of disaster be predicted and/or mitigated? Disaster risk management includes risk assessment, disaster prevention and mitigation and disaster preparedness. It is used in the international debate to underscore the current trend of taking a proactive approach to hazards posed by extreme natural phenomena.

The intention is a comprehensive reduction in disaster risk accounting for all the factors that contribute to risk management in relation to the respective disaster as opposed to a focus on each individual danger.

The main objectives of the seminar are as follows:

  • To generate public awareness on landslide hazards in Malaysia.
  • To provide a platform for experts to share experiences and knowledge of the best professional judgments of disaster management.
6th I-Geo Seminar Series - 5 October 2015 “Earthquake Risk In Malaysia: Past, Present And Future”

Earthquake is one of the most devastating natural disasters on earth. Earthquake effects can cover hundreds of thousands of square kilometers; cause damage to structures or infrastructures facilities; result in loss of life and injury to hundreds of thousands of people; and disrupt the social and economic functioning of the affected area. Although it is impossible to prevent earthquake from occurring, it is possible to mitigate the risk and to reduce loss of life, injuries and damage.

Earthquake risk was a big issue when the worst earthquake disaster in the modern years occurred in North Sumatra at Banda Aceh. The great Sumatran earthquake occurred on the 26th December 2004, measuring at 9.3 on the Richter Scale, had created tsunami that killed 283,100 people from surrounding countries, including Malaysia with 68 people died. With this incidence, Malaysia need to be prepared to confront with such earthquake disasters which not only originate from our country but also from countries nearby. As a part of earthquake risk mitigation strategy, a lot of research activities in the field of earthquake engineering are urgently required even in the country with low to moderate seismic activity level such as Malaysia. Lessons learned from the 1985 Mexican earthquake and the 1957 San Francisco earthquake phenomena have shown that earthquake can have significant effects although at longer distance due to long period component of shear waves.

Hence, the earthquake engineering research is needed in order to predict the possibility of earthquake in the future that can cause damages to the buildings and structures as well as to find the solution for mitigating the effects. The research should cover the investigation and solution of the problems created by damaging earthquakes, and consequently the work involved in the practical application of these solutions, i.e. in planning, designing, constructing and managing the earthquake risk of earthquake-resistant structures and facilities.

8th I-Geo Seminar Series - 7 August 2017 “Pavement Technology in Malaysia - Present And Future”

The IGEO Disaster Research Centre hosted the 8th I-GEO seminar series on Pavement Technology – Present and Future on the 7th of August 2017 at the Conference Hall, IUKL. There were approximately 75 participants from the academia, government sectors and industry players from all over the country who joined the daylong seminar. The seminar was officiated by Prof. Dr. Ideris Zakaria, Vice-President (Academic & Research) IUKL. The presenters were Assoc. Prof Ir Dr Ahmad Kamil Arshad from UiTM, Dr Nazirah Ahmad from Malaysia Rubber Board, Mr Sharuzi Sahari from Lafarge Malaysia Bhd, Prof Dr Mohd Rosli Hainin from UTM and Mr Mohd Yazip Matori from IKRAM Integrated Engineering Laboratory (IIEL) who shared their technical expertise in a wide range of topics which included incorporating nano materials in asphaltic concrete materials, development of rubberized roads, concrete solutions for road pavement, the application of warm mix asphalt and axle load survey. The seminar provided updates on the latest development on sustainable elements in material and pavement technology and served as a platform to promote collaboration among the pavement industry players.

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