Over the years, MCEER has supported many rapid surveys and reconnaissance visits to areas
hit by severe earthquakes. Observations in the field as soon as possible following a major
earthquake are one of the important ways in which vital data can be gathered and important
lessons learned. In order to realize our vision of "earthquake resilient
communities," these often tragic events must be investigated to validate our
collective knowledge and to discover new insight into success stories and failures.
Our multidisciplinary team members conduct their reconnaissance visits
primarily to support and foster knowledge development within MCEERs research
program. The mission of the research program is to investigate how advanced and emerging
technologies can be adapted and implemented to reduce earthquake hazards. Research efforts
focus on development and calibration of loss estimation methodologies, damage evaluation,
detection and response technologies, and development of retrofit strategies for critical
facilities (such as lifelines, buildings and their contents, and bridges). The time period
immediately following a destructive earthquake offers a critical window of opportunity to
determine more closely the "weak links," reasons for failure or unacceptable
performance, and to observe the success stories.
The observations and recommendations made by our team members
are presented in this report, for the benefit of people in seismic regions throughout the
world. Only by absorbing the technical and institutional lessons from these events, and
then further developing our understanding and potential solutions in the laboratory and in
our communities, can the potential for future tragedies be reduced.
George C. Lee
Director, Multidisciplinary Center for
Earthquake Engineering Research