The Haitian tragedy
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Author: chigozie
Last Post: Dell_Brett
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The Haitian tragedy
#1
On Tuesday the 12th of this month (January 2010), at about 16.00 hours local time, 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck the American country of Haiti. It was that bad that the presidential building and the United Nations buildings also collapsed. It is estimated that more than 200,000 people lost their lives. The United Nations could not account for some of its staff including the head of its operation in Haiti. Many more are still trapped in rubbles. Thousands were seriously injured. What part did civil engineering play in this tragic event and what part should it play in the reconstruction of this unfortunate poor nation?
Regards
Teddy
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#2
As the magnitude of the tragedy is unfortunately too big, it is rather difficult to get a lot of technical infomation by this time. EERI hasn´t even send a reconnaissance team yet, due to the field conditions prevailing in Haiti.

EERI Efforts:

M 7.0 Earthquake in Haiti
EERI has been monitoring the situation in Haiti closely and has an extensive list of persons interested in EERI reconnaissance. At this time EERI believes that travel there is unreliable and the health and security issues are too extreme for our members to participate in reconnaissance.

EERI will continue to monitor conditions and plans to send a team as soon as practical. This could be 2-4 weeks from now. We are also coordinating our efforts with many other organizations that will be sending reconnaissance teams.

We have made several contacts with persons who may go for purposes other than formal reconnaissance and are asking them for condition reports to assist us in planning our mission.


From EERI dedicated website (note in both cases smooth column bars and no hoops):

[Image: 54862924367258598639.jpg]
5-story bldg; close-up of 2nd and 3rd floor beam-column joints without shear reinforcement (2nd flr joint and much of 2nd floor column intact with shear crack indicating top of masonry infill; appears all column bars spliced at 3rd floor joint).

[Image: 42533916466112345008.jpg]
2nd floor column damage; columns restrained by concrete handrail (short columns) and one damaged by pounding from stairway of adjacent building.


Videos of the earthquake appear to show the high vertical acceleration exerienced. Look at this video from security cameras. While we can´t see how the camera is fix, both cameras appear to show the vertical acceleration; specially look from the time 0:37 of the video (as the second camera record is in normal velocity mode), that the horizontal movement looks rather limited as compared with the vertical one. This isn´t rare, as the EQ focus was pretty close to the capital:

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For comparison, the following video is from the 1985 Mexico City EQ, which is a classic example of a long period shaking. Look at the oscilation of the lamp hanging from the ceiling.

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And also, the 1995 Kobe EQ. Look that this shaking is defined by short, high energy pulses:

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Information is not knowledge.
Albert Einstein


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#3
This site contain several satellites images before/after earthquake in Haiti:

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