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ES 28:S1 (Jun 2012) The 2010 Chile Earthquake

The June 2012 special issue of volume 28 of Earthquake Spectra is devoted to the Mw 8.8 earthquake that struck offshore Maule, Chile, on 27 February 2010. The earthquake produced a tsunami that caused major damage over more than 500 km of coastline. The earthquake and tsunami together resulted in over 500 deaths and caused damage to highways, railroads, ports, and airports due to ground shaking and liquefaction. It was Chile's largest disaster in terms of property and economic loss (an estimated US$30 billion). The 641-page special issue is organized into topical sections as follows: seismology, tectonics, and geotechnical damage patterns; earthquake and tsunami damage assessment; buildings and industrial facilities; bridges, ports, and other lifelines; and rebuilding and recovery. Edited by Jack Moehle of the University of California, Berkeley, and David Frost of the Georgia Institute of Technology, the volume provides essential information for the diverse professions engaged in earthquake loss reduction — civil, geotechnical, mechanical, and structural engineers; geologists, seismologists, and other earth scientists; architects and city planners; emergency responders and public officials; social scientists and researchers in all these disciplines.

Chile is a country with stable institutions and a prosperous economy that, in response to a history of frequent strong earthquakes, has developed and implemented programs and standards to improve safety and selective infrastructure operability following major earthquakes. However, like many other economically developed countries in the world, including the United States, Chile is also a nation of income inequality and many marginal structures that are at higher risk. The 2010 earthquake demonstrated both the effectiveness and the shortcomings of modern risk reduction programs. Consequently, the lessons learned are especially relevant and important to risk reduction activities in other earthquake-prone parts of the world.

The papers include contributions from EERI (Earthquake Engineering Research Institute) and GEER (Geotechnical Extreme Events Reconnaissance Association) reconnaissance team members, as well as from other individuals. The participation of Chilean researchers and engineers is especially appreciated because of the broad and deep knowledge they bring about Chilean practices and the effects of the earthquake.

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