January 12, 2010 Haiti Earthquake


On January 12, 2010 there was a devastating magnitude 7.0 earthquake in Haiti. The epicenter was 15 miles from Haiti's capital, Port-au-Prince, and the shaking was felt throughout the Caribbean Region. The earthquake has caused extreme destruction to Haiti's infrastructure, population, government and economy.

Eduardo Fierro, a structural engineering with the firm BFP Engineers, Inc. based in Berkeley CA, completed post-earthquake reconnaissance work in Haiti from January 14-22. His photos have been posted on our photo gallery page and are arranged by the day they were taken. Thus, they provide a photo journal of his experiences and attempt to highlight the damage caused to the built environment, which is of interest to earthquake engineers from many disciplines.

Eduardo Fierro's reconnaissance efforts in Haiti were partially funded by PEER and he has also received critical support and funding from others, including the Insttituto Dominicano de Ingenieria Superior y Desastres Naturales "Vitelmo Bertero" Inc. Fierro will be creating a complete reconnaissance report that will be published by PEER and posted at this website.

On Tuesday January 26 2010, Eduardo Fierro presented his preliminary findings at UC Berkeley to a live audience of 100 plus an additional audience of 250 who were watching remotely via webcast. A recording of this presentation is now available for viewing in addition to a PDF of his slides.

Kit Myiamoto from Miyamoto International, one of PEER's Buisness and Industry Partners, has just returned from Haiti after participating with the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF), the World Bank and the Haitian government, to provide structural damage assessments and recommendations for safe access to buildings in Port-au-Prince. Miyamoto has assessed many key governmental buildings including the Financial Ministry and National Palace. For more information on this work, visit their website and the article by Miyamoto International on January 26, 2010. He is also been involved with the recovery efforts that are being planned for Haiti, and will likely present his experiences and knowledge of the recovery issues to PEER in the coming weeks.

Other groups plan to enter Haiti for reconnaissance work, including teams from several of PEER's BIP members. Their efforts will also be posted on this site, as information becomes available.

Map of Haiti showing the jan.12 epicenter