Archives for April 2013

WHE-GEM Building Taxonomy Summary Results Available

Lushan County, China


April 20, 2013, M6.6 Earthquake

Available Information


Summary Report on Christchurch Earthquakes Workshop Now Available

A summary report on the Christchurch Earthquakes Workshop that took place on February 12, 2013 before the 2013 EERI Annual Meeting  in Seattle, Washington is now available. You can read the report here: and also view the presentations from the workshop here:

Khash, Iran

April 16, 2013, M 7.7 Earthquake

Available Information



M7.8 Earthquake Strikes Iran

Iran_ShakemapAt 3:14 pm local time, a M7.8 earthquake struck 83km East of Khash, Iran. The quake was felt throughout parts of Iran, Pakistan, and India. Damage has been reported in Iran and Pakistan.

Early reports indicate that adobe construction was severely affected. Adobe is a particularly vulnerable construction material in earthquakes. EERI’s World Housing Encyclopedia project has developed a tutorial on options for improving the seismic resistance of adobe. Several additional tutorials describing particular strengthening methods are also available at the same website:

Two of EERI’s Housner Fellows also sent in quick reports about the earthquake. Vivek Rawal, located in Ahmedabad, India, wrote that the earthquake strongly shook his office and home. Syed Ali, professor of earthquake engineering at UET Peshawar, Pakistan, wrote that people were out in the streets in Karachi. (The Housner Fellows Program is a leadership training program–the eight Fellows in the inaugural class are working on individual and group projects, most of them focused on reducing seismic risk in developing countries. Learn more about the current class of fellows on their blog:

Iran has suffered from many damaging earthquakes. Most recently, in August of 2012, a pair of earthquakes, M6.3 and M6.4, near Tabriz in northwestern Iran destroyed more than 20 villages and left more than 30,000 people homeless. The M6.6 Bam earthquake in 2003 caused more than 40,000 deaths and displaced 75,600 people.  More information about these and other  earthquakes in Iran can be found in the EERI Learning from Earthquakes Reconnaissance Archive:

Bushehr, Iran

April 9, 2013, Mw6.4 Earthquake

Available Information





Updates From the Field- Guatemala Field Study Trip

As part of a grant agreement with the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR), EERI organized a field visit to Guatemala. The EERI team has been documenting rebuilding issues associated with the M7.4 November 2012 earthquake, with a focus on traditional construction and older brittle reinforced concrete buildings. The field visit is organized collaboratively with the Guatemalan Association of Structural and Seismic Engineering (AGIES).

The team toured downtown Guatemala City, which has a large number of older concrete buildings; Quetzaltenango in Western Guatemala, to get a sense of rural construction practices in Guatemala; and the San Pedro and San Marcos areas, where rebuilding efforts are ongoing following the damage from the November earthquake.

The EERI team will produce a report that includes observations on engineering challenges and recommendations for needed changes in policy and construction practices. The report will be written with AGIES input and distributed to the memberships of both AGIES and EERI, as well as the GFDRR. The broader outcome from this field visit is the development of a more collaborative relationship between EERI and AGIES that can focus on improving construction in Guatemala and hopefully neighboring countries.

The following photos were taken by Maggie Ortiz, EERI Staff Member and Sahar Safaie.

EERI and AGIES team members discuss the damage to a typical brick home. Source: Maggie Ortiz, EERI Staff Member

Many corner buildings suffered severe damage and were demolished. The corrugated metal walls indicate rebuilding on the site. Source: Maggie Ortiz, EERI Staff Member

AGIES and EERI team members attend a meeting with the Mayor of San Pedro/San Marcos. He was interested in hearing about the work of the joint team and also presented data on damage and rebuilding in the urban and rural areas of the municipality. Source: Sahar Safaie

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