Learning from Earthquakes: Mexico Earthquake Updates
Following the 1985 Mexico City earthquake, Mexico embarked on building an earthquake early warning system with to goal of providing a one-minute warning prior to shaking in Mexico City for earthquakes in the subduction zone. Over the years since, the system—called SASMEX—has expanded to provide alerts to multiple cities across the country. In Mexico City, most people have access to the alerts as the warnings are transmitted by 12,000 sirens across the city. In other cities, the warnings are transmitted by radio to specially designed receivers that then sound an alarm. Two significant earthquakes shook Mexico in September, providing one of the most significant tests of the warning system since its creation.
Recognizing the opportunity to gather information about the performance of SASMEX and the response and perception of the pubic to the warnings, the Learning from Earthquakes Executive Committee decided to send a reconnaissance team to Mexico. The team included seismologists Richard Allen and Elizabeth Cochran and social scientists Scott Miles (M.EERI,2009), Diego Otegui, and Tom Huggins. The information collected by the team is particularly relevant as earthquake early warning system are currently being deployed around the world, including the ShakeAlert system in the US.
While in Mexico in early October, the team met with institutional actors involved with the system and members of the public who used the system. This included members of CIRES who are responsible for generating the alerts, and C5 that operates the sirens. Also, individuals across the city who reacted to the siren-based alerts, and school administrators with dedicated warning systems across the school campus. The team’s preliminary findings will be included in a future issue of Pulse.
Photo Top: Team members from left: Richard Allen, Scott Miles, Diego Otegui, and Elizabeth Cochran in Mexico City.
EERI participated on a collaborative team effort that conducted damage assessment surveys of 713 buildings in Mexico City from October 2-8, 2017. Core team members included Deborah Weiser (M. EERI, 2017) with OneConcern, Jeffrey Hunt (M. EERI, 2010) and Ezra Jampole (M. EERI, 2012) with Exponent, and Maurizio Gobbato with Risk Management Solutions. Additional team partners based in Mexico City included engineers at WSP and engineers and students from the Colegio De Ingenieros Civiles De Mexico.
The team conducted damage surveys for all buildings, both damaged and undamaged, located within a specific radius (typically 500 feet) around a strong motion recording station. The observed buildings were grouped around ten different recording stations, which were selected to capture different ground motion intensity levels, building uses, and soil characteristics (on lakebed, off lakebed, and on transition soils). A mobile phone application was used to collect the field data for each building, including photographs, latitude/longitude, structural system, primary building use, number of stories, damage severity, age of construction, and other performance impactors. The collected data will be used to correlate seismic intensity measures with observed damage severity for various building characteristics (structural system, number of stories, corner/middle building, etc.) and soil profiles.
The observed 713 buildings consisted of 220 commercial/restaurant/retail buildings (31%), 276 multi-family residential buildings (39%), 149 single-family residential buildings (21%), and 68 other-use buildings (10%).
The team observed 527 buildings (74%) with no observable exterior earthquake damage, 122 buildings (17%) with minor, mostly cosmetic damage, 26 buildings (4%) with moderate structural damage, 21 buildings with severe structural damage but no collapse (3%), and 17 partially or completely collapsed buildings (2%).
The severely damaged and collapsed buildings were typically of intermediate height: of the 38 observed buildings with severe damage and partial/complete collapse, 14 buildings had one to five stories (37%), 21 buildings had six to ten stories (55%), and 3 buildings had more than ten stories (8%). 84% of the observed heavily damaged and collapsed buildings were constructed with concrete frames with URM infills, and these structures typically contained vertically structural irregularities and pounded with adjacent buildings. 55% of the observed heavily damaged and collapsed buildings were located on corner lots.
The damage assessment data collected by the team will be available through the EERI Virtual Clearinghouse Website.
Image Top: Map of observed buildings in Mexico City. Inset at lower left shows one of the clusters of buildings around a strong motion recording station.
Geotechnical Engineering Reconnaissance of the 19 September 2017 Mw 7.1 Puebla-Mexico Earthquake: Version 1.0, a report by the UNAM-GEER reconnaissance team is now available.
The report includes summaries on observations made on recorded ground motions; site response and structural damage; performance of building foundations; observed ground deformations; performance of bridges; performance of dams; slope instability; and sites of social and cultural interest.Back to top >
News of the Institute
The Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) and the Seismological Society of America (SSA) are pleased to announce that University of Texas at Austin Professor Ellen M. Rathje (M.EERI,1996) is the 2018 recipient of the William B. Joyner Lecture Award.
Rathje will deliver the Joyner Lecture at the Eleventh U.S. National Conference on Earthquake Engineering (11NCEE), to be held 25-29 June 2018, and Seismology 2018, a joint meeting of SSA and the Latin American and Caribbean Seismological Commission to be held 23-26 April 2018.
The William B. Joyner Lecture is jointly awarded by EERI and SSA to those who have provided outstanding earth science contributions to the theory and practice of earthquake engineering or outstanding earthquake engineering contributions to the direction and focus of earth science research—together with demonstrated skills of communication at the interface of earthquake science and earthquake engineering.
The lecture honors the distinguished career of William B. Joyner at the U.S. Geological Survey and his abiding commitment to continuing communication and education at the interface between research findings of earthquake science and the practical realities of earthquake engineering.
Ellen M. Rathje is the Warren S. Bellows Centennial Professor in the Department of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering and also a Senior Research Scientist at the Bureau of Economic Geology at the University of Texas at Austin. Her research interests include seismic site response analysis, earthquake-induced landslides, field reconnaissance after earthquakes, and remote sensing of geotechnical phenomena.
She is a founding member of and current co-chair of the Geotechnical Extreme Event Reconnaissance Association (GEER) which coordinates National Science Foundation-sponsored geotechnical investigations around the world after major earthquakes and other natural disasters such as floods, to advance research and improve engineering practice. Rathje is also the Principal Investigator of the DesignSafe cyberinfrastructure project, a web-based research platform for the National Hazards Engineering Research Infrastructure (NHERI) that provides computational tools to manage and analyze critical data for natural hazards research. Closer to home, Rathje is co-principal investigator for the Center for Integrated Seismicity Research and the TexNet Seismic Monitoring Program, both housed at the Bureau of Economic Geology at UT.
In her nomination for the award, Rathje was commended for her leadership across many aspects of earthquake research, as well as her impactful investigations of earthquake-induced landslides and ground failure, site response, and damage patterns for earthquakes around the world, including Haiti, New Zealand, Turkey, and the United States.
“Bill Joyner was a brilliant researcher and kind person who showed the important advancements that can come about when earthquake scientists and earthquake engineers work together. It is a privilege and an honor to be recognized for my efforts to work at this interface,” Rathje said.
Rathje served as a member of the EERI Board of Directors from 2010-2013, and was a member of the Scientific Earthquake Studies Advisory Committee of the U.S. Geological Survey from 2007-2013. She has published over 150 papers and has supervised the research of over 40 graduate students.
Do you know a young academic or professional making a difference in reducing global earthquake risk? EERI members are encouraged to nominate candidates from government, private firms, academia, and the international community for the 2017 Shah Family Innovation Prize. The Shah Family Innovation Prize was created with a substantial gift to the EERI Endowment Fund by the Haresh C. Shah family of Stanford, California. The intent of the prize is to stimulate further creativity and leadership in the earthquake risk mitigation community and EERI. The selection process recognizes a combination of past accomplishments and future potential, emphasizing creative and innovative thinkers who have demonstrated at early stages in their careers the potential to make major contributions. EERI membership is not required for either the nominator or candidate, although it is strongly encouraged. Candidates must be less than 35 years of age on January 1, 2018. Submit your nomination for the Shah Family Innovation Prize online by January 31, 2018.
For more information about the required nomination package, selection criteria, and past winners click here.
The Shah Family Innovation Prize Selection Committee: Stacy Bartoletti, Degenkolb Engineers (Chair); Jack Baker, Stanford University; Charles Menun, Consultant; Glenn Rix, Geosyntec Consultants; and Emily So, University of Cambridge.
On October 30, 2017, all EERI members (except Student and Honorary members) were sent via email the first membership renewal notice for 2018. The email message simplifies the renewal process for you by providing a link to your personal renewal page showing contact information with options for selecting chapter membership and making a voluntary contribution to the EERI Endowment Fund.
We hope you will continue to support EERI and renew your membership for 2018!
Together, we can reduce earthquake risk for our communities.
Due to the efforts of Professor Carlos Llopiz at the Universidad Nacional de Cuyo in Mendoza, Argentina, the EERI oral history volume on Robert Park and Thomas Paulay has been translated into Spanish. It is available free to download as a pdf. EERI members are encouraged to distribute it to Spanish-language earthquake engineering organizations and colleagues.
The translation was done by Claudia Llopiz, and Professor Jose Restrepo provided editorial oversight. The team at the Universidad Nacional de Cuyo is now at work in translating the EERI oral history on Vitelmo Bertero, which will be announced when it is available.
To view the EERI Oral History series, click here.Back to top >
GeoHazards International is searching for a new President and Chief Executive Officer who will continue to increase our impact, pursue sustainable funding, and grow awareness of our work. Read the full job description.
For more than 25 years, GeoHazards International has been helping the world’s most vulnerable communities before natural disasters strike. We work with local engineers, scientists, government officials, builders, and other community groups to build resilience where there is high risk of earthquakes, tsunamis, landslides and storms. Projects have prepared hospitals to function in crises; enhanced schoolchildren’s safety; trained professionals in technical solutions; reduced people’s exposure and vulnerability to hazards; and enabled communities to respond to disasters.
Based in Menlo Park, CA, we employ a staff of 18 in the U.S., India, Bhutan, Nepal and Haiti. Dr. Brian E. Tucker, the current President and Founder, is retiring and will serve as a senior advisor.
To view the job announcement and apply click here.
The College of Engineering at The Ohio State University seeks applications to fill a tenure-track faculty position at the level of Assistant/Associate Professor rank in Resilient Infrastructure. The primary appointment is in the Department of Civil, Environmental and Geodetic Engineering with a joint
appointment in the Department of Integrated Systems Engineering. Candidates whose research specializes in areas pertaining to resilience of (aging) structures and infrastructure systems including: physically-based and data driven approaches to modeling and resilience assessment, characterization and modeling of interdependencies, hazard lifecycle analysis, ongoing off-line or real-time monitoring, resilience enhancement strategies, or other relevant topics are encouraged to apply.
This position is partially funded by The Ohio State's Discovery Themes Initiative, a significant faculty hiring investment in key thematic areas in which the university can build on its culture of academic collaboration to make a global impact.
Review of applications will begin on Nov. 20, 2017 and continue until the position has been filled. Apply here.
The Ohio State University is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability status, or protected veteran status.
Director, William A. Anderson Fund, Flagship Institution
The University of Delaware in Newark, Delaware
See the full Job Description and Application
The University of Delaware seeks a senior disaster scientist or engineer to join the faculty and serve as the founding director of the newly established William (Bill) A. Anderson Fund (BAF) Flagship Institution. The Director will serve as a high profile faculty leader for the BAF, engaging and interfacing with academic, government, private sector, and non-profit partners to support recruitment, mentoring, and professional development activities to increase the number of historically underrepresented students pursuing disaster science and practice. At the University of Delaware, the Director will develop strategic partnerships, hire and supervise staff, and engage in marketing and general program management. The Director will also serve as a leader for national efforts that support the BAF mission, including recruiting students, developing and evaluating programming, developing networks for participating students, and fundraising for scholarships and other program needs. This exciting program, and the Director’s position, will be located in UD’s Disaster Research Center (DRC).
Notice of RFQ: As-Needed Consultant Services for Structural Design and Geotechnical Review, City and County of San Francisco Department of Building Inspection
1) Structural Design Review/Practicing Structural Engineer;
2) Structural Design Review/Academia; and
3) Geotechnical and Geological Engineering Review.
Intent of this Request for Qualifications (RFQ): Based on the responses from this Request for Qualifications (RFQ), it is the intent of DBI to create pre-qualified list of consultants/professionals and academic experts from which DBI may choose prospective contractors, on an as-needed basis for up to four (4) years of the prequalification notification date, to advise the Department in structural design and plan review for privately-sponsored projects. Consultants prequalified under this RFQ are not guaranteed a contract.
RFQ Issued 10-30-17
Deadline for RFQ Questions 11-17-17 (12 pm PST)
Deadline for RFQ Answers 12-01-17 (5 pm PST)
Deadline for RFQ Responses 01-05-18 (12 pm PST)
Notice of Intent to Establish a Prequalified List 02-09-18
Check sfdbi.org/rfp for more information on how to apply.
If you have experience working in or studying post-disaster contexts, please take our short (three-question) survey. We anticipate that our findings will be of use to researchers, data providers, and response/recovery/reconstruction organizations.
News of the Profession
Seven recent articles, stories, opinions, or reports from around the web
When Earthquakes Strike, Structural Engineering Gets Better (BISNOW) Whenever an earthquake hits, engineers learn new vulnerabilities, and in earthquake-prone California, many lessons have been learned. Read more
Internet Cabling Can Double as an Earthquake Detection System (PCMag) A Stanford University research team is developing an inexpensive continuous earthquake monitoring system using optical fibers. Read more
Fifty Simulations of the 'Really Big One' Show How a 9.0 Cascadia Earthquake Could Play Out (EurekAlert) A University of Washington research project simulates 50 different ways that a magnitude-9.0 earthquake on the Cascadia subduction zone could unfold. Read more
When a Big Earthquake Hits, Your First Instinct can Mean Life or Death (Los Angeles Times) What should be done when an earthquake hits? Run outside? Or drop, cover and hold on? Dr. Lucy Jones (M.EERI,2011) and Mark Benthien (M.EERI,2000) discuss the Great California ShakeOut. Read more
Come Together: Mexico's Recovery from Double Earthquake Devastation in Photographs (Global Voices Online) View a collection of photos documenting the devastation and subsequent aid effort in Mexico. Read more
In Earthquake-Torn Mexico, Architects Look to Recovery (Architectural Record) A group of architects, designers, and urban planners has formed a coalition called ReConstruir México, to help save existing structures through preservation and a focus on traditional building methods. Read more
Work Starts on Seattle's Rainier Square Tower with Rebar-Free Core (Engineering News-Record) In earthquake-prone Seattle, the construction of Rainier Square Tower has begun, an office-residential high-rise that represents the first use of a radically different core structure. Read moreBack to top >
Welcome New Members!
(July 20 - October 19, 2017)
Dina Bakr, Ain Shams University
Basma Fadel, Ain Shams University, Architect
Loay Mahmoud, Ain Shams University
Mohamed Mohamed, Ain Shams University
Dalia Niazy,Ain Shams University, Architect
Norhan Ragab,Ain Shams University, Architect
Ahmed Younes, Ain Shams University
Hasan Ayouby,Concordia University, Civil
Amit Chandra, Concordia University, Civil
Keyhan Faraji, Concordia University, Civil
Ali Naghshineh, Concordia University
Timir Baran Roy, Concordia University, Civil
Ardalan Sabamehr, Concordia University, Civil
Alireza Torkaman Rashid, Concordia University, Civil
Mojtaba Valinejadshoubi, Concordia University, Civil
Seth Henks, Cornell University
Daniel Kusky, Cornell University, Civil
Olivia Liao, Cornell University, Civil
Olivia Morabito, Cornell University, Civil
David Pineda, Cornell University, Civil
Anita Zhang, Cornell University, Civil
Cagatay Demirci, Imperial College London
Avinash Ramachandrun, Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad, Civil
Sinan Alagoz, Karadeniz Technical University, Civil
Alia Amer, Lehigh University
Nathan Buccella, McMaster University
Mustafa Cetinkaya, North Carolina State University
Samuel Morrison, North Carolina State University, Civil
Federico Passeri, Politecnico di Torino, Geotechnical
Lilibeth Ramos Castillo, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
Julio Ríos, Pontifical Catholic University of Peru, Civil
Michelle Guckenheimer, Portland State University, Civil
Eric Jeffery, Portland State University, Civil
Jonathan LaLonde, Portland State University
Sanjeewa Nagulendran, Portland State University
Aman Anand, Purdue University, Civil
Alana Lund, Purdue University
David Magarici, Purdue University, Civil
Chintan Patel, Purdue University, Civil
Jon Pevey, Purdue University
Fatih Balcı, Sakarya University
Ebru Çamlıdere, Sakarya University
Mustafa Cindir, Sakarya University
Selman Kahveci, Sakarya University, Architect
Hikmet Yılmaz, Sakarya University
Shuai Li, Southeast University
Addison Bliss, Stanford University
Ziyang Jiang, Stanford University, Geotechnical
Prajwal Kammardi Arunachala, Stanford University
Corinna Slater, Stanford University
Shannon Spiers, Stanford University
Aditya Giri, Southern Illinois University
Gauri Gorakshanath Chandore, SUNY, Buffalo, Civil
Hakun Jang, Texas A&M University, Civil
Randy Tenderan, Tokyo Institute of Technology
Guo-Liang Ma, Tongji University, Lifelines
Michael Fairhurst, University of British Columbia
Ryan Sitar, University of California San Diego
Jawad Fayaz, University of California Irvine
Nowell Philips, University of California Irvine
Maria Kontari, University of Illinois, Civil
Eduardo Gadea Villafuerte, Universidad Nacional de San Agustin, Civil
Roger Gutierrez Espinoza, Universidad Nacional de San Agustin, Civil
Aivlys Hidalgo Mamani, Universidad Nacional de San Agustin
Cleison Manrique Aguirre, Universidad Nacional de San Agustin
Heider Mendoza Portillo, Universidad Nacional de San Agustin
Joao Tunqu Arias, Universidad Nacional de San Agustin, Civil
Carlos Tupa Ortiz, Universidad Nacional de San Agustin, Civil
Gustavo De Andrade, University at Buffalo, Civil
Hernan Hernandez Morales, University at Buffalo
Fernando Szasdi Bardales, University at Buffalo
Mohammad Mohammadi, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Mohsen Azimi, University of Nevada, Reno
Aikaterini Kyprioti, University of Notre Dame, Civil
Dimitrios Patsialis, University of Notre Dame, Civil
Arvin Ebrahimkhanlou, University of Texas Austin, Civil
Luis Ardila Bothia, University of Toronto
Julia Dury, University of Toronto
Rafaela Sanches, University of Toronto
Vinay Damodaran, University of Wisconsin
Ivan Farias Alvarado, University of Wisconsin
Henry Nuckles, University of Wisconsin
Ryan O'Connell, University of Wisconsin
Matt Chan, Virginia Tech
Rosa Dixon, Virginia Tech, Civil
Cody Furrow, Virginia Tech
Edward Gil, Virginia Tech
Paul Jalowski, Virginia Tech, Civil
Gabriella Johnson, Virginia Tech, Civil
Katherine Kowaluk, Virginia Tech, Civil
Benjamin Leonard, Virginia Tech, Civil
Matthew Leonard, Virginia Tech, Civil
Carl Miller, Virginia Tech, Civil
Jayna Silva, Virginia Tech, Civil
Student Members: Be sure to login to EERI Members Only Resources to explore earthquake photo galleries, publications, reports, and much more. To update your member information and reach out to other EERI members, login to the EERI Member Directory by using your email address as your username and your EERI ID number for your password. Please note that if you did not include the name of your college/univesity when you joined EERI, your membership is not active until we receive that information.Back to top >