As part of its Learning from Earthquakes Program (LFE), the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) is responding to the M8.3 earthquake that struck 46 km west of Illapel, Chile on September 16, 2015. According to initial reports from EERI members in the country, the earthquake shaking and subsequent tsunami alert led to the safe evacuation of more than one million people along the coastline.
On Monday, September 21, EERI’s LFE Executive Committee met to discuss and plan a response to the Chile earthquake. Based on information available, the committee decided on the following actions:
- Launch a virtual clearinghouse website to document earthquake impacts and easily share observations with EERI members and other colleagues. The clearinghouse site is now live at http://www.eqclearinghouse.org/2015-09-16-chile/
- Solicit volunteers (especially students and young professionals in Chile) to participate as clearinghouse curators. These curators will collect information from media sources and expert field teams on particular topic areas or preliminary research areas, then synthesize the results into curated summaries. These summaries can help not only in reporting on topics areas, but may be helpful in identifying new areas of potential research. For this earthquake, clearinghouse curators are expected to create 1–3 posts on their selected topic within approximately one month of the event, depending on the amount of information available and relevant insights to share with the EERI membership. More information is shown at http://www.eqclearinghouse.org/2015-09-16-chile/curated-topics/
- Coordinate and collaborate with Chilean colleagues for observations from the field, and encourage them to submit reports and data. To support submission of field photos and observations, EERI has launched a custom data map similar to the one used after the 2015 Nepal earthquake. EERI’s reconnaissance tools offer a seamless way for colleagues to submit geolocated photos to the map either from the field or upon their return. The map currently shows several public data layers to inform field team response.
- Coordinate with any other international reconnaissance teams headed to the region for observations from the field, and encourage them to submit reports and data.
- Encourage colleagues conducting reconnaissance to collaboratively prepare a brief article or report for dissemination in The Pulse of Earthquake Engineering that summarizes their activities and findings.
Other actions may be considered depending on the outcomes of these initial activities.
All members are encouraged to visit the virtual clearinghouse website in the coming weeks to learn more about the earthquake impacts. The How to Contribute page also outlines various ways that members can contribute to the effort.
If you have contacts in Chile, information to share about the earthquake, or knowledge of reconnaissance teams responding, please contact Heidi Tremayne, EERI Program Manager, at email@example.com