Archives for February 2016

Taiwan Earthquake Virtual Clearinghouse Launched

King's Town Bank building, Hsinhua. Photo by Yi-Hsuan Tu In response to the M6.4 earthquake in Southern Taiwan on Saturday, February 6, 2016 (local time), EERI’s Learning From Earthquakes (LFE) program has launched a virtual clearinghouse site for the event, with preliminary reports, field photos, and a variety of other resources:

No EERI-led reconnaissance trip is being planned at this time, but EERI is collaborating with international and U.S. groups and individuals planning field reconnaissance investigations to facilitate sharing of pre-departure information and archiving of reconnaissance field data through the virtual clearinghouse. To support the earthquake engineering and earthquake risk reduction community, EERI is building off recent successful activities after the 2014 South Napa and 2015 Nepal earthquakes to offer the following to researchers and practitioners studying the 2016 Taiwan earthquake:

  1. Use of the virtual clearinghouse website and online data archive map to serve as a permanent archive and repository for field data from the event. The archive will give full credit and attribution for each piece of data (i.e. photo, report, etc.) to the contributor, and overlay data from all sources in single location. These mapped data layers will be publicly shared and will allow others to overlay them on their own GIS maps. The virtual clearinghouse site will become the archive for report data, photo gallery, and other resources as well. (View an example of a similar data map and virtual clearinghouse created for the 2015 Nepal Earthquake.) For the Taiwan earthquake, we ask colleagues conducting field reconnaissance to share their data (especially geolocated photos) in this archive.
  2. Hosted team coordination calls prior to field visits.
  3. Pre-travel synthesis of information on various damaged buildings by EERI Young Members Committee volunteers in support of traveling field teams prior to their departure.
  4. Connection of field team members to EERI colleagues in Taiwan, as requested or needed.
  5. Assistance with the post-processing and upload of field data (especially photos) for colleagues who have visited the impacted region and have field data to share into the data repository/archive. EERI is soliciting volunteers to help field team members post information to the data map and archive. This volunteer-pairing process was successfully done to support members of EERI’s Nepal field team.

Any EERI members and colleagues who plan to head to Taiwan for reconnaissance should check in with LFE Program Manager Heidi Tremayne ( to share their plans and learn more about collaboration and support opportunities.

M6.4 Southern Taiwan Earthquake, 6 Feb 2016

Taiwan Earthquake page

EERI Response to M6.4 Earthquake in Taiwan on February 6, 2016

Tainan, Taiwan. Reuters photo

Tainan, Taiwan. Reuters photo

On Saturday, February 6, 2016, a M6.4 earthquake struck southern Taiwan. The EERI community extends its sympathy to the victims as rescue and relief work continues.

EERI is currently monitoring the situation from media reports and notes from colleagues in the impacted region as part of its Learning from Earthquakes Program.

For current and timely information about the earthquake, including links to the USGS event page, World Housing reports, media reports, and information from colleagues in the region, EERI has created an EERI event page in the LFE archive. This page will be updated regularly as new information becomes available.

Any members with information about earthquake impacts or response should contact Heidi Tremayne, EERI Program Manager.


Southern Taiwan

February 6, 2016, M6.4 Earthquake

Toppled building after earthquake in Tainan, Taiwan (AP Photo)




維冠大樓倒塌 by Dean Hosp on Sketchfab

More Information on this project: Using Aerial Robotics and Virtual Reality to Inspect Earthquake Damage in Taiwan by Patrick Meier



Learning from Earthquakes Program: 2015 in Review

EERI’s Learning from Earthquakes program had a year of significant activity, innovation, and planning.

Investigating the April 25 Gorkha Earthquake


In early June 2015, EERI sent a 13-member international Learning from Earthquakes (LFE) team to Nepal to conduct reconnaissance following the Mw7.8 Gorkha earthquake on April 25. Working in partnership with Nepal’s National Society for Earthquake Technology (NSET), and coordinating with nearly 30 other reconnaissance efforts, EERI’s multidisciplinary team examined ten topic areas from seismology and ground motion to building performance and community resilience. Briefing videos from team members may be found at the virtual clearinghouse website for the earthquake: The LFE team report will be published in early 2016 and EERI is currently seeking financial support for a special issue of Earthquake Spectra on the Nepal earthquake. Follow up investigations will also take place in 2016 by the Houser Fellows and a resilience reconnaissance team.

Activity from Afghanistan, Chile, and Napa quakes

EERI coordinated with members in regions impacted by the M7.5 Northeastern Afghanistan Earthquake on October 26, 2015 (, and the M8.3 Illapel Chile Earthquake on September 16, 2015 ( Members from the impacted regions of both earthquakes have submitted reports and observations. Additional member-submitted reports are expected in early 2016 and will be available in the LFE Earthquake Archive (

Collapsed barrel stacks leaning on interior column after Napa earthquake

With funding from FEMA, EERI staff members are post-processing and improving an archival data set from the 2014 South Napa Earthquake. ATC/FEMA Building and Nonstructural Components Performance data, Caltrans Bridge Assessment data, and SEAOC Earthquake Performance Evaluation Program data will be included in the final data set to be launched in March 2016, at the virtual clearinghouse website:

Improving and Expanding LFE

In early 2015, EERI hosted two Reconnaissance Training Workshops aimed at better preparing members to conduct reconnaissance and contribute their data after an earthquake in their area. The first workshop was hosted by the UCLA student chapter in January and the second workshop was hosted by the EERI Student Leadership Council during the 2015 Annual Meeting in Boston. Over 100 students and professionals participated in the workshops. Presentations from the workshops can be found at

Recent earthquakes led to the refinement and improvement of LFE Operations and Procedures. New volunteer positions of Clearinghouse Curators, Virtual Team Collaborators, and LFE Operational Specialists have been established to actively involve early career members in LFE reconnaissance activities. To make topical curation posts after earthquakes even more informative and timely, LFE has been working with EERI’s Younger Members Committee (YMC) to develop procedures that will allow YMC members to serve regular terms as curators ready to act quickly and glean valuable ephemeral information. More about these roles and procedures can be found at the LFE website:

A 12-person LFE subcommittee is in the early stages of developing a new program to involve experiential field-based learning in regions of past major earthquakes. This program will launch it’s first pilot study trip in 2017.

Identified LFE priorities activities for 2016 include the following:

1. Dramatically improving LFE websites and reconnaissance tools with financial support from EERI’s Initiatives and Development Committee. These improvements will make the website more user-friendly and informational while also better integrating reconnaissance data and virtual clearinghouses.

2. Securing baseline funding for LFE operations.

3. Identification of best practices in incorporating resilience reconnaissance over time into LFE procedures.

4. Responding to major earthquakes per the recently updated operations procedures.

The LFE Committee is chaired by Ken Elwood (M. EERI, 1994) until April 26, 2016, when Charlie Huyck (M. EERI, 2002) moves from Vice-Chair to the Chair role. Heidi Tremayne is the EERI staff lead for LFE, with support from Maggie Ortiz-Millan who manages LFE’s reconnaissance data collection and visualization activities.