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Bertero, R D (2014) Great 2010 American Earthquakes: Lessons for Seismic Design and Construction. Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, 140(04).

  • Type: Journal Article
  • Keywords: Earthquakes; Seismic design; Building design; Construction; Caribbean; China; Earthquakes; Seismic design and construction; Maule Earthquake; Haiti Earthquake; Seismic Codes; Construction materials and methods;
  • ISBN/ISSN: 0733-9364
  • URL: https://doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)CO.1943-7862.0000697
  • Abstract:
    At the beginning of 2010, two large earthquakes struck the Americas. The January 12 Haiti earthquake with a magnitude Mw=7.0 produced about 300,000 deaths (second by the number of fatalities in the world history after the 1556 Shaanxi China earthquake). A month later, the February 27 Maule Chilean earthquake with a magnitude Mw=8.8 (an energy release 500 times larger than that from the Haiti earthquake) produced 500 deaths, most due to the resulting tsunami. However, the Chilean earthquake caused more than $30 billion of direct damage, left nonoperational dozens of hospitals and thousands of schools, and caused for several hours a general blackout as well as the loss of service of essential communications facilities, crucial to take control of the chaotic after-earthquake situation. In this paper, the severity of both earthquakes is compared. It is shown that their effects on the life and economy of the affected countries as well as the features of the seismic codes or the absence of codes offer important lessons regarding the seismic design and construction. From these lessons, specific and distinctive recommendations regarding the seismic design and construction of essential facilities, conventional buildings, and nonengineered, auto constructed low-income houses are offered.