Thursday, February 4, 2010

What Structural Engineers See For Haitis Recovery

From Denny: Already the structural engineers are visiting Haiti's capitol city, Port-au-Prince, to assess how many buildings need to be completely demolished. They are also taking a look at how many buildings could be retro-fitted and rebuilt. This is a nation that did not use simple rebar stabilization in their brick, stone and concrete doorways and windows where the structure would be the weakest. It is standard construction of the most inexpensive homes in America and is not a costly addition or fix.

The problem with Haiti's building codes is that they are minimal and usually unenforced. New and stricter codes are being called for as cleanup from the earthquake begins and thoughts turn to rebuilding the country literally from the ground up.

Indonesia's devastation from the 2006 tsunami at the town of Banda Aceh has proven an awesome example of recovery five years later. Take a look at how Haiti could follow in their footsteps:

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Now that three weeks have passed since the earthquake it is a bit easier to take a look at this news footage of an amateur video taken at the time of the earthquake. Gives us an acute illustration as to how much of a job structural engineers have to do in this country.

This is from a survivor's video as the earthquake began, continued at HOPE Orphanage, then the bedlam outside in the aftermath. Fortunately, no one was injured or killed at that orphanage. Look at all the tremendous dust in the air; it must have felt like they were choking on it.

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