EERI response to M6.4 Puerto Rico earthquake

On Tuesday, January 7, a M6.4 earthquake struck Puerto Rico. The EERI community extends its sympathy to the impacted communities.

EERI is currently monitoring the situation from media reports and notes from colleagues in the impacted region as part of its Learning from Earthquakes Program and is considering an EERI response. 

Visit the for more information.

How you can contribute:

澳门新永利EERI members and other earthquake risk reduction professionals can contribute to reconnaissance efforts for this earthquake in the following ways:

  1. Use the Fulcrum app to collect and share reconnaissance data

We encourage EERI members conducting reconnaissance to collect data using the EERI reconnaissance data collection form in the Fulcrum app. To collect data through the EERI Fulcrum Community account, please sign up . After signing up, you will receive a confirmation email with instructions about how to download the Fulcrum app on your phone (users are manually approved so there may be a short delay in receiving this email). To learn more about how to use the Fulcrum app, you can view a series of short tutorial videos . 

If you have questions about using the Fulcrum app, please contact Simone Nageon de Lestang at

  1. Inform EERI of your reconnaissance plans

If you will be participating as a part of a reconnaissance mission, recovery mission, or traveling to the impacted area for any other purpose, please contact Maggie Ortiz-Millan ( to inform her of your timeline and travel details. EERI can help link you to others in the field, support you in efforts to share photos or observations, and connect you with the EERI team (if one is mobilized).

  1. Volunteer with the Virtual Earthquake Reconnaissance Team

Research specific topics to gain an understanding of the extent of damage in the region. VERT reports will be used to help inform the LFE Executive Committee’s response to this earthquake. Join VERT by signing up .

  1. Other ways to contribute

We encourage earthquake investigators to contact Maggie Ortiz-Millan ( if they have suggestions about how they can contribute.

Don’t miss out on updates — renew now!

The 2019 EERI membership grace period ends February 1, 2020. If you haven’t already, renew your EERI membership for 2020 today to make sure you don’t miss out on important earthquake updates from EERI!

Palu reconnaissance trip studies population displacement and reconstruction

2020 01 01 Pulse Palu
In November 2019, an EERI team—composed of Rob Olshansky (M.EERI,1997), Kanako Iuchi (M.EERI,2011), and Ghazala Naeem (M.EERI,2014)—completed an LFE reconnaissance visit to Palu, Indonesia, 14 months following the devastating September 2018 earthquake and tsunami. Complementing a previous liquefaction reconnaissance trip by GEER and EERI’s Preliminary Notes on Tsunami Information and Response, the November reconnaissance trip focused on issues related to ongoing population displacement and progress toward reconstruction.

Conducted jointly with the Institut Tecknologi Bandung (ITB) and supported by the Indonesian Ministry of National Development Planning (Bappenas), the group visited permanent relocation sites and temporary housing sites, as well as most of the significant liquefaction and tsunami-affected areas. They spoke to residents, non-governmental organizations, and representatives of all levels of government. In return, the team provided an opportunity in Bandung for ITB researchers and government officials to exchange ideas, and for officials from Bappenas and BNPB (Indonesian emergency management agency) to hear concerns about the ongoing process.

To support this collaboration, EERI and ITB have signed an MOU, and ITB’s Research Center for Disaster Mitigation and Center of Excellence for Earthquake Sciences are both eager to work with EERI members on topics of mutual interest. Because of the active seismicity of Indonesia, ITB will help facilitate the process of obtaining research visas. To learn more about how you can take advantage of this great opportunity, please contact EERI Program Manager Maggie Ortiz-Millan at

The team will present their preliminary findings during a webinar in early 2020. A full report on the lessons learned from the reconnaissance trip will be available later in 2020. Reconnaissance photos from the team will be available on the  soon.  

EERI announces 2019 student paper awards

澳门新永利EERI is pleased to announce the winners of the EERI 2019 Student Paper Awards! The winners will be honored at the EERI award ceremony at the 2020 National Earthquake Conference and EERI Annual Meeting.

Award TengThe Graduate Student Paper Award goes to Ganyu Teng of Stanford University for the paper, “Evaluation of SCEC CyberShake Ground Motions for Engineering Practice” with Jack Baker (M.EERI,2004). Ganyu is a third-year Ph.D. student in Civil Engineering and a part of the Stanford Center for Induced and Triggered Seismicity. Her research focuses on short-term probabilistic hazard assessment for regions of induced seismicity, specifically on hydraulic-fracturing-related earthquakes. Ganyu received her B.E. in Civil Engineering at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. During her M.S. at Stanford, she worked on the evaluation of CyberShake ground motions for potential application to high-rise building design in the Los Angeles region.

Award IssaThe Undergraduate Student Paper Award goes to Omar Issa (M.EERI,2018) of UCLA for the paper, “Comparing the Seismic Collapse Performance of Cantilever Column and Moment Frame Retrofits for Wood Frame Structures Using Los Angeles Soft-Story Basic Ordinance Guidelines.” Omar is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in civil & environmental engineering, while also serving as the president of the EERI Student Chapter. As an undergraduate researcher in the Burton Research Group & the Garrick Institute for the Risk Sciences, he is passionate about improving the resilience of urban regions to natural disasters. Along with his research, Omar credits his reconnaissance work following the 2019 Ridgecrest Earthquake for motivating him to pursue further education in Structural/Earthquake Engineering. 

A message from EERI Executive Director Heidi Tremayne

Heidi Tremayne (M.EERI,2004)The new year is here and it will start off strong for EERI with the joint ! For many months now, more than 30 member volunteers on various committees have been planning the conference.

澳门新永利This will be a special conference that blends many community ideas submitted through abstracts, as well as unique ideas generated from the collaborative program committees. The program will feature national developments, like functional recovery, Disaster Recovery Reform Act, new FEMA products developed by ATC, and NEHRP Seismic Provisions, alongside findings from recent earthquakes and relevant regional and local topics. We’re also including practical case studies and new research developments, such as simulated ground motions, to appeal to members in all fields and sectors.

澳门新永利One of the most exciting developments for me is the San Diego earthquake scenario project developed by EERI’s Regional Chapter, which will be released for the first time at the opening plenary. The group has been diligently working over the last several months to refine their final report and create a vision for a seismically resilient San Diego by 2050. I’ve had the opportunity to work alongside the regional chapter colleagues as we prepare the final products, and I’m inspired by their passion and enthusiasm for local action. In this work, it is also very interesting to see how unique San Diego is, yet also observe how many of the pathways towards seismic resilience can also be so universal. San Diego sits atop the recently identified Rose Canyon Fault Zone, which uniquely shapes the region’s built environment and risk profile. Like many communities, there are some mitigation success stories to highlight in San Diego, yet there are also many opportunities to address older vulnerable building stock and infrastructure systems to limit their impacts on community recovery after a future earthquake.

澳门新永利The findings from this multi-year project will be showcased across five different sessions that will provide plenty of opportunities for engagement by participants to help shape the next steps for San Diego. I sincerely hope those local to the region adopt our chapter’s vision for a seismically resilient San Diego and choose to actively participate in its implementation in the years to come. And I also hope that those who live outside the region can share their perspectives in these discussions, then apply some of these ideas to their own local region.

As you can tell, there will be incredible dialogue and opportunities for learning at the NEC,  It’ll be a great way to kick off a new year and inspire the actions needed for us to collectively reduce earthquake risk. As always, I believe that by working together we can accomplish so much. See you in San Diego!

(published in the latest Pulse Digest)

YMC blog: Cushing, Oklahoma – What’s happened to the historic downtown in the years following the 07 November 2016 M5.0 Earthquake?

Email EzraThe Younger Members Committee is pleased to share its new blog! Be sure to check out the first post by YMC Co-Chair Ezra Jampole (M.EERI, 2012). Ezra is a Senior Engineer in the Buildings and Structures Practice at Exponent in New York City, where he investigates structural engineering failures. Ezra holds a Ph.D. and M.Sc. from Stanford University and a B.S. from Northeastern University.

“On 07 November 2016 (01:44:25 UTC) a  devastated the historic downtown of Cushing, Oklahoma. Within a week of the earthquake, EERI sent a reconnaissance team to Cushing to document the damage to the built environment and implement a business resilience survey in the historic downtown, shown in Figure 1. The team documented their observations and findings in a report, which addressed seismicity, geotechnical and ground motion effects, performance of buildings/lifelines, nonstructural components, emergency response, and social/economic impacts. Summarizing the observed building performance, unreinforced masonry (URM) buildings in the historic downtown (built circa 1900) sustained significant damage, including out-of-plumbness, partial collapses, and extensive façade damage…” 

NEC2020 technical sessions focus on new federal products, resources, initiatives

The  are pleased to announce an exciting line-up of technical sessions designed to broaden your perspectives and impact. The conference will be held March 4-6, 2020 in San Diego, Calif.

The following sessions will focus on the release of new federal products, resources, and initiatives.

FEMA Guidance on Post-Disaster Building Safety Evaluations: Current State-of-Practice and Recommendations Related to Structural and Nonstructural Safety and Habitability

FEMA recently published FEMA P-2055, Post-disaster Building Safety Evaluation Guidance: Report on the Current State of Practice including Recommendations Related to Structural and Nonstructural Safety and Habitability. This guide summarizes and references best practice guideline documents, identifies recommended improvements and needs, and provides interim recommendations for issues without best practice guidance. This presentation will focus on recommendations related to earthquakes, including considerations for program planning prior to an incident and program management and implementation practices after an incident.


Development of NIST-FEMA Recommendations for Achieving Functional Recovery

The discussion will define functional recovery, explain why it is needed, then focus on implementation options, including an assessment of each option’s pros and cons developed with input from social scientists as well as architects, engineers, building owners, government officials, and building code officials. This session stems from the 2019 reauthorization of the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program, which included a new requirement for NIST and FEMA to “convene a committee of experts from Federal agencies, nongovernmental organizations, private sector entities, disaster management professional associations, engineering professional associations, and professional construction and homebuilding industry associations, to assess and recommend options for improving the built environment and critical infrastructure to reflect performance goals stated in terms of post-earthquake re-occupancy and functional recovery time.”


Leveraging Newly Available Tools, Guidance and Applications for Seismic Risk Reduction and Recovery

This session will focus on several applied research projects managed by the Applied Technology Council (ATC) that developed tools and guidance focused on seismic risk mitigation and recovery. These products include FEMA P58-7: Building the Performance You Need, ATC-119-1: Application of FEMA P58 for City of San Francisco’s Tall Building Safety Strategy, FEMA P-2018: Seismic Evaluation of Older Concrete Buildings for Collapse Potential, Guidelines for the Assessment and Repair of Earthquake Damage in Residential Wood-frame Buildings, and FEMA P-530: Earthquake Safety at Home: Prepare, Protect, Survive, Recover, Repair.


Making Cents of FEMA Mitigation Funding

This session will discuss how earthquake program managers, emergency managers, and jurisdictions can identify and leverage federal funding sources for earthquake mitigation and planning activities. The session will cover new and existing federal funding sources, including the Disaster Recovery and Reform Act, Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities, National Mitigation Investment Strategy, National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program, National Earthquake Technical Assistance Program, FEMA mitigation grant programs, and more.


Join us in San Diego, California for the 2020 National Earthquake Conference and 72nd EERI Annual Meeting!

Just announced: 2018 Earthquake Spectra Outstanding Paper Award

Anastasios Sextos

Anastasios Sextos

EERI is pleased to announce the winner of the 2018 Outstanding Paper Award from Earthquake Spectra, ).

The paper is authored by Anastasios Sextos (M,EERI,1998), Raffaele De Risi (M.EERI,2019), Alessandro Pagliaroli, Sebastiano Foti, Federico Passeri, Ernesto Ausilio, Roberto Cairo, Maria Chiara Capatti, Filiberto Chiabrando, Anna Chiaradonna, Shideh Dashti (M.EERI,2009), Filomena De Silva, Francesca Dezi, Maria Giovanna Durante, Silvia Giallini, Giuseppe Lanzo, Stefania Sica, Armando L. Simonelli, Paolo Zimmaro澳门新永利 (M.EERI,2015).

Outstanding Paper Awards for Earthquake Spectra are awarded to authors of papers judged to be outstanding contributions to earthquake hazard mitigation. Papers of recipients must be judged to have made a significant impact on the profession, to provide a significant advance in the state-of-the-art or understanding of a particular topic, to be of exceptional technical quality with concise and informative illustrations and to be well written for a broad audience.

Paper Abstract:澳门新永利 The Central Italy earthquake sequence initiated on 24 August 2016 with a moment magnitude M6.1 event, followed by two earthquakes (M5.9 and M6.5) on 26 and 30 October, caused significant damage and loss of life in the town of Amatrice and other nearby villages and hamlets. The significance of this sequence led to a major international reconnaissance effort to thoroughly examine the effects of this disaster. Specifically, this paper presents evidences of strong local site effects (i.e., amplification of seismic waves because of stratigraphic and topographic effects that leads to damage concentration in certain areas). It also examines the damage patterns observed along the entire sequence of events in association with the spatial distribution of ground motion intensity with emphasis on the clearly distinct performance of reinforced concrete and masonry structures under multiple excitations. The paper concludes with a critical assessment of past retrofit measures efficiency and a series of lessons learned as per the behavior of structures to a sequence of strong earthquake events.

Benefit from NEC2020 technical sessions designed for you

澳门新永利Stuck in a rut of delivering project after project, deadline after deadline, and trying to look for ways to understand how your work fits into the bigger picture? At the  to be held March 2-6, 2020 in San Diego, we’ve designed technical sessions specifically with you in mind. 

The technical sessions at NEC 2020 seek to advance your practice by showcasing the latest cutting-edge research alongside practical case studies. Coupled with dynamic plenary sessions, the NEC 2020 agenda will get you thinking beyond your specialty to explore collaborative opportunities in mitigating earthquake impacts.

Moderated by Christine Goulet, the Executive Director for Applied Science at the Southern California Earthquake Center, the session “Progress and Challenges in Utilizing Simulated Ground Motions for Engineering Practice”澳门新永利 offers an opportunity to discuss a wide range of ground motion simulation models. The session will explore the models’ current strengths and shortcomings through available validation methodologies, as well as the progress and challenges in utilizing simulated ground motions in the engineering practice. Presenters include:

  1. Jonathan Stewart (M.EERI,1994), Professor, and Buka Nweke, Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, both of the University of California, Los Angeles, will present on the basin effects in simulated ground motions for Southern California.
  2. Ting Lin (M.EERI,2009), Professor at Texas Tech University, will discuss guidelines on utilization of simulations for engineering building response applications.
  3. Jack Baker (M.EERI,2004), Professor at Stanford University, will present on simulated CyberShake time series for engineering building code analyses.
  4. Farzin Zareian (M.EERI,2005), Professor at the University of California, Irvine, will discuss the utilization of simulations for engineering bridge response applications.
  5. Marty Hudson (M.EERI,1994), Andrew Dinsick, and Kenneth Hudson (M.EERI,2018) of the Turner Construction Company, Geopentech, and Wood respectively, will examine tall building ground motions in Southern California and will compare recent design ground motions with Cybershake simulated ground motions
  6. Sanaz Rezaeian and Nico Luco, of the USGS, will present on the progress and challenges in ground motion simulation validation.

EERI coordinates reconnaissance efforts for the M6.4 Durres, Albania Earthquake

澳门新永利EERI is actively responding to the November 26 M6.4 Durres, Albania Earthquake. The Learning From Earthquakes (LFE) Executive Committee met on December 1 to determine EERI’s response. Based on information provided in the  and by other members in the field, the LFE committee decided that EERI is best positioned to serve in a coordination role for this earthquake. 

EERI has been in close contact with several colleagues who have conducted or will conduct reconnaissance. We coordinated a call on December 10 to provide an opportunity for teams to share observations and discuss plans. EERI will be developing a joint report on the earthquake with contributions from those in the field. EERI has established an  on the LFE website where several reports are posted. 

Preliminary observations from the reports include:

  • The most common building damage pattern observed was shear “X” cracking and out-of-plane failure of hollow clay tile nonstructural walls. This type of damage was especially common in taller (8 to 12 story) buildings, but it was also exhibited in shorter (2 to 7 story) buildings. This type of building has been built in Albania since 1990, and many of the buildings were built in the last few years. Code enforcement in design and construction was limited during the period in which many of these buildings were constructed. It is a common building type in Albania. (personal observations from Chiara McKenney,M.EERI,2011)
  • Sand boils and liquefied material were observed near the sites of collapsed buildings in the coastal area of Durres. (Newsletter of Environmental, Disaster, and Crisis Management Strategies)
  • Several collapsed reinforced concrete buildings were observed. Most contained irregularities including soft stories, torsional irregularities, or discontinuous columns that may have contributed to collapse. (personal observations from Chiara McKenney,M.EERI,2011)

More information about the earthquake impacts can be found in the reports available on the LFE website:

  • . By  Mohammad Alam, Yolanda Alberto, Chrysl Aranha, Guillermo Diaz-Fanas, Wilfrid Djima, Mikael Gartner, Wael Hassan, Brisid Isufi, Maha Kenawy, Edwin Lim, Sissy Nikolaou,Tona Rodriguez-Nikl, Mehmet Unal, Hartanto Wibowo, David Yoo, Erica Fischer, and Manny Hakhamaneshi.
  • . By Professor Efthymis Lekkas, PhD c. Spyridon Mavroulis, PhD c. Dimitri Papa, and Em. Professor Panayotis Carydis
  • Reconnaissance Observations from Chiara McKenney, P.E. . .

Any questions regarding EERI’s response to this earthquake can be directed to: Maggie Ortiz-Millan, EERI Program Manager

澳门新永利Earlier this year, EERI launched a landmark campaign to raise $4 million for a Learning from Earthquakes Endowment Fund to help us ensure the existence, innovation, and impact of LFE for years to come.  about how you can support EERI’s great work in response to this and other important earthquakes.

Jack Moehle to receive the 2020 George W. Housner Medal

EERI is pleased to announce that Jack Moehle (M.EERI,1981), the Ed and Diane Wilson Presidential Professor of Structural Engineering at UC Berkeley, is the recipient of the George W. Housner Medal. The medal is awarded for extraordinary and lasting contributions to public earthquake safety through the development and application of earthquake hazard reduction practices and policies.

Jack Moehle received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois and joined the U.C. Berkeley faculty in 1980. From 1991 to 2001, he was the director of the Earthquake Engineering Research Center at Berkeley, and in 1996 he became the founding director of the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center, where he served until 2008.

His teaching and research include topics in structural engineering, earthquake engineering, and reinforced concrete, with research covering both analytical and experimental methods; buildings, bridges, and infrastructure; materials, components, and complete structural systems, seismic retrofitting and design of new structures, including performance-based earthquake engineering. 

澳门新永利He has played a leading role in the development of building codes and professional engineering guidelines for the design of new construction and the assessment and rehabilitation of seismically vulnerable existing construction, including Guidelines for Evaluation and Repair of Masonry and Concrete Walls (FEMA 306); Guidelines for Seismic Rehabilitation of Buildings (FEMA 273 and ASCE 356); Development of Next-Generation Performance-Based Seismic Design Procedures for New and Existing Buildings (FEMA P-58); and Guidelines for Performance-Based Seismic Design of Tall Buildings (Tall Buildings Initiative, PEER). He has been a member of the ACI 318 Building Code Committee since 1989, Chair of the Seismic Provisions subcommittee from 1995-2014, and currently serves as the ACI 318 Chair.

A licensed Civil Engineer in California, Dr. Moehle provides engineering consultation and expert peer review on highway systems (Caltrans, Works Consultancy New Zealand), mass transit systems (Bay Area Rapid Transit, Transbay Transit Center), water distribution systems (San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, New York City Aqueducts), existing construction (Stanford, UC Berkeley, US Army Corps of Engineers), and high-rise building consulting and peer review (Los Angeles, Reno, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle).