Message from the President

David A Friedman-PulseWelcome to The Pulse of Earthquake Engineering, the bi-weekly email newsletter of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute.
— David A. Friedman, EERI President


Search The Pulse

News of the Institute

On Earthquakes, Hurricanes and Immigration More >

Learning from Earthquakes

EERI Response to Mexico Earthquake More >

Regional Chapter News - September 15, 2017

San Diego-Tijuana Earthquake Scenario Two Cities, Two States, Two Countries: One Response More >


SMIP17 Seminar on Utilization of Strong-Motion Data: October 19, 2017 More >

Retirement Symposium and Celebration Honoring Professor Anil Chopra More >

The Role of Advanced Technologies in Structural Engineering for More Resilient Communities More >

EERI Resources from the Vault

The Mw 8.0 Guerrero-Michoacán (Mexico City), Mexico of September 19, 1985 More >

Younger Members Committee

EERI Younger Members Committee Seeks New Members More >

Opportunities: EERI Internship

EERI is Now Accepting Applications for Spring 2018 Internships More >


Earthquake Spectra August 2017 Issue Now Available More >

Earthquake Spectra: Preprint Manuscripts More >

News of the Profession

Links to Recent News and Views More >


21st National Mexican Conference on Earthquake Engineering
September 20-23, 2017
Guadelajara, Jalisco, Mexico

2017 NCSEA Structural Engineering Summit
October 11-14, 2017
Washington D.C.

Retirement Symposium and Celebration Honoring Professor Anil K. Chopra
October 2-3, 2017
University of California, Berkeley

4th International Conference on Earthquake Engineering and Seismology
October 11-13, 2017
Eskisehir, Turkey

6th Structural Engineers World Congress (SEWC 2017)
November 14-17, 2017
Cancun, M

1st International Conference on Infrastructure Resilience
February 14-16, 2018

10th Gulf Seismic Forum for Seismology and Earthquake
Engineering Studies in the Arabian Plate Region
March 19-22, 2018
Muscat, Oman

Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering and Soil Dynamics Conference V
June 10–13, 2018
Austin, TX

16th European Conference on Earthquake Engineering
June 18–21, 2018
Thessaloniki, Greece

11th U.S. National Conference on Earthquake Engineering
June 25–29, 2018
Los Angeles, CA

Sixth International Symposium on Life-Cycle Civil Engineering (IALCCE2018)
October 28–31, 2018
Ghent, Belgium

EERI 71st Annual Meeting
March 5–8, 2019
Vancouver, B.C., Canada

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News of the Institute

On Earthquakes, Hurricanes and Immigration

The EERI Board of Directors met on September 8th, amid the beginning recovery of Hurricane Harvey, the current and imminent impacts of Hurricanes Irma and Jose, and the unfolding damage accounts from the September 7th M8.1 earthquake off the southern coast of Mexico. Mother Nature appears to be rather active and intense.

On the Mexico earthquake, the Learning From Earthquakes Executive Committee is already collecting data, contacting our colleagues in Mexico and Guatemala, and determining the appropriate level of response. Stay tuned.

The Board did celebrate a recent milestone accomplishment in the introduction of legislation this last week to reauthorize the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program. With bi-partisan co-sponsorship, led by Senators Feinstein and Murkowski, the introduction of this appropriations bill would not have occurred without the extraordinary efforts by EERI’s Public Policy and Advocacy Committee. But there is an uncertain road to navigate before NEHRP is reauthorized and funded. 

We are living in turbulent times beyond the recent rash of natural disasters we are experiencing. National support for science is being challenged. Immigration restrictions and the withdrawal of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals pose potential harmful impact to EERI’s national and international membership.

The Board recalled an extraordinary moment at this last spring’s annual business meeting. As we do annually, we bestowed lifetime achievement awards to Prof. Anil Chopra (M. EERI, 1973), Ashraf Habibullah (M. EERI, 1999), and Dr. Farzad Naeim (M. EERI, 1983). In accepting his award, Farzad noted that all three of these honorees were first-generation immigrants to the United States, and all had made significant contributions to the cultural, scientific and economic fabric of this country. And he noted that none of them, under proposed policy changes, would today be likely allowed to immigrate. Farzad’s remarks were greeted with a spontaneous and resounding standing ovation. Never have we been so stirred and proud of our membership.

The Board further expressed concerns regarding the threats to our earthquake engineering and social science Dreamers. These young members of our Institute represent our future contributors and leadership, and securing their future should be all of our concern.

We do not speak out to politicize but we do have the responsibility to remain true to the EERI mission. That mission is to reduce earthquake risk by advancing the science and practice of earthquake engineering; by improving understanding of the impact of earthquakes on the physical, social, economic, political, and cultural environment; and by advocating comprehensive and realistic measures for reducing the harmful effects of earthquakes. And when policies directly or indirectly affect the pursuit of this mission, we must speak up.

We are a membership that is about inclusion and not of exclusion or restriction. We know no borders. The only fault divisions we identify are those of tectonic origin. We are women and men of all races, nationalities and faiths, and bonded and made stronger by that diversity.

On behalf of the EERI Board of Directors and staff, this message is written with immense respect and appreciation for our diverse membership. We remain dedicated to collaborative actions to reduce earthquake risk.

David A. Friedman, President, EERI

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Learning from Earthquakes

EERI Response to Mexico Earthquake

Oaxaca hotel BBCOn September 7, 2017, a M8.1 earthquake struck off the southwest coast of Mexico resulting in major damages and casualties in the states of Oaxaca and Chiapas and bordering municipalities in Guatemala.

EERI’s Learning from Earthquakes Executive Committee has been meeting regularly to decide EERI’s response to this event. EERI has been in communication with colleagues in Mexico, who have provided information on the extent of damages and shared preliminary reports.

As part of the EERI response, the Virtual Earthquake Reconnaissance Team (VERT) has been activated and 15 VERT volunteers have prepared the following presentations: 

  • Performance of Buildings in Guatemala by Angel Pérez-Irizarry (M. EERI, 2011), Keshab Sharma (M. EERI, 2015), Ignace Mugabo, Alvaro Rubio (M. EERI, 2017), and Sharoo Shrestha (M. EERI, 2016)
  • Schools by Erica Fischer (M. EERI, 2010), Gabby Haro (M. EERI, 2014), and Manny Hakhamaneshi (M. EERI, 2009)
  • Performance of Retrofitted Buildings by Brian DeMeza (M. EERI, 2017), David Yoo (M. EERI, 2015), and Preetish Kakoty (M. EERI, 2015)
  • Highways, Landslides-Settlements, Earth Cracks, Rock Falls, Energy by Manny Hakhamaneshi (M. EERI, 2009), Yolanda Alberto (M. EERI, 2017), and Keshab Sharma (M. EERI, 2015)
  • Response in Social Media by Angel Pérez-Irizarry (M. EERI, 2011), Yolanda Alberto (M. EERI, 2017), and Eytan Fiszman (M. EERI, 2015)
  • Dams and Other Geotechnical Damage by Yolanda Alberto (M. EERI, 2017), Manny Hakhamaneshi (M. EERI, 2009), and Keshab Sharma (M. EERI, 2015)
  • Early Warning System by Xin Ma (M. EERI, 2016) and Yolanda Alberto (M. EERI, 2017)
  • Lifelines by Nicole Paul (M. EERI, 2016), Yolanda Alberto (M. EERI, 2017), Mohammad S. Alam (M. EERI, 2016) and Preetish Kakoty (M. EERI, 2015)

The VERT presentations and preliminary earthquake reports are posted on the LFE event page for the earthquake.

Any members with information about earthquake impacts or who plan to conduct reconnaissance should contact EERI's Program Manager, Maggie Ortiz-Millan, at

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Regional Chapter News - September 15, 2017

San Diego-Tijuana Earthquake Scenario Two Cities, Two States, Two Countries: One Response

Jorge Meneses screenshotBy Jorge Meneses (M. EERI, 2006), EERI San Diego Regional Chapter President

The San Diego-Tijuana region is a $230 billion economic engine with over 5 million residents. It is the third most populous region in California, smaller only than the metropolitan areas of Greater Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay area. The value of trade between San Diego and Tijuana consistently exceeds $4 billion per year. Over 50 million people cross the border each year between Tijuana and San Diego, giving the region the busiest land-border crossing in the world. The region has grown to the third richest region in California.

San Diego-Tijuana is in an earthquake prone region and the occurrence of an earthquake can significantly disrupt the vibrant economic activity and affect the large population. Aiming at raising awareness about the consequences of an earthquake in the region, spur earthquake mitigation planning, foster cross-border collaboration and create a resilient bi-national community, EERI San Diego embarked in the development of an earthquake scenario in January 2015. Over 50 federal, state, county, city, academic and private organizations in San Diego and Tijuana have been involved so far.

Some initial preliminary results are being produced and disseminated through local media in San Diego. Some recent TV interviews reporting the preliminary results are shown here:

Read more about the San Diego-Tijuana Earthquake Scenario on the San Diego Regional Chapter website.

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SMIP17 Seminar on Utilization of Strong-Motion Data: October 19, 2017

Registration is now open!

Date: Thursday, October 19, 2017
Location: U.C. Berkeley International House, Berkeley, California
Please visit the SMIP17 website for program and registration information 

The California Strong Motion Instrumentation Program (CSMIP) in the California Geological Survey (CGS) of the Department of Conservation established a Data Interpretation Project in 1989.  Each year CSMIP funds several data interpretation projects for the analysis and utilization of strong-motion data.  The objectives of the Data Interpretation Project are to further the understanding of strong ground shaking and the response of structures, to increase the utilization of strong-motion data in post-earthquake response, and to improve seismic design code provisions and design practices.

As part of the Data Interpretation Project, CSMIP holds annual seminars to transfer recent research findings on strong-motion data to practicing seismic design professionals, earth scientists and earthquake response personnel. The purpose of the annual seminar is to provide information that will be useful in seismic design practice, post-earthquake response, and the improvement of seismic design codes and practices.

This year’s seminar will include presentations on damping for ground response analysis used in non-ergodic hazard analysis, nonlinear site response analyses at California downhole array sites, building code torsional provisions, building soil-structure interactions, spatial variability of bridge foundation input motions, embankment dam deformations. improved ground motion intensity measures for record selections,and ground motions from the 2014 South Napa Earthquake.


Retirement Symposium and Celebration Honoring Professor Anil Chopra

Chopra photographRegistration is now open for the University of California Berkeley Department of Civil Engineering's Retirement Symposium and Celebration honoring the career of Professor Anil K. Chopra (M. EERI, 1973), to take place on Oct. 2-3, 2017 at UC Berkeley.

The symposium will feature a lineup of prominent national and international speakers who are former students and close collaborators of Professor Chopra who will share their research and experience in working with him. Please visit the symposium website for more information about the event. Space is limited by the capacity of the venue,  so please register today if you wish to attend.


The Role of Advanced Technologies in Structural Engineering for More Resilient Communities

workshop save the dateThe Role of Advanced Technologies in Structural Engineering for More Resilient Communities is a workshop hosted by the ResilientAmerica Roundtable and the Board on Infrastructure and the Constructed Environment (NAS) of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in collaboration with the SEI/ASCE Advances in Information Technology Committee will be held on Tuesday, September 26, 2017 from 8:30 am to 4:45 pm PST,  at the Beckman Center, 100 Academy Way, Irvine, California 92617. Reception to follow. Webcast provided for those who cannot attend in person.


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EERI Resources from the Vault

The Mw 8.0 Guerrero-Michoacán (Mexico City), Mexico of September 19, 1985

Mexico City 1985 38-2003On September 19, 1985, at 7:19 a.m., a Mw 8.0  earthquake occurred in the Pacific Ocean, off the coast of the Mexican state of Michoacán, a distance of more than 350 km (217 mi) from the city, in the Cocos Plate subduction zone, specifically in a section of the fault line known as the Michoacán seismic gap. The Cocos Plate pushes against and slides under the North American Plate, primarily along the coasts of the states of Michoacán and Guerrero in Mexico.The event caused a large amount of damage in the central city area primarily to modern structures between 6 and 20 stories high. Over 200 buildings collapsed and thousands were damaged.

Photo: View looking north of the Pino Suarez Towers. Originally there were five structures at this site. Three central 21-story buildings and two flanking 14-story buildings. These government office towers were one of the few steel frame structures to collapse during the earthquake (although it should also be noted that the majority of buildings in Mexico City use concrete construction).

Photo credit: Edgar V. Leyendecker

Member Resources: Find more resources located at our LFE Reconnaissance Archive to see our Earthquake Spectra Articles, EERI reports, and other findings as well as browse through our photo gallery.

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Younger Members Committee

EERI Younger Members Committee Seeks New Members

The EERI Younger Members Committee (YMC) seeks early-career professionals/faculty as well as current graduate students interested in earthquake advocacy and risk mitigation to join. The committee focuses on providing professional development and networking opportunities within EERI for its members, which include:

  • Contributing to earthquake clearinghouses ( through the Virtual Earthquake Reconnaissance Team (VERT) chaired by Erica Fischer (M. EERI, 2010) and Manny Hakhamaneshi (M. EERI, 2009);
  • Coordinating the EERI Annual Meeting “Meet the EERI Leaders” event and collaborating with the EERI Student Leadership Council (SLC) to support tours and judging activities associated with the Seismic Design Competition;
  • Organizing EERI webinars on technical and professional topics for younger members;
  • Participating on other EERI programs, committees, and projects; and
  • Developing activities at the local/national levels to promote younger member engagement.

Additional information is available at If you are interested in joining, please contact YMC co-chairs Anahid Behrouzi (M. EERI, 2013), Guillermo Diaz-Fanas (M. EERI, 2014), and Maria Koliou (M. EERI, 2009) at

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Opportunities: EERI Internship

EERI is Now Accepting Applications for Spring 2018 Internships

Apply Now for Spring Post-Graduate Internship Positions (January - June 2018)

EERI’s internships are approximately six-months long, and offer engagement with a number of interesting EERI projects and Institute activities, including Learning from Earthquakes, the School Earthquake Safety Initiative, the 11th National Conference on Earthquake Engineering, and technical seminars and webinars.

Tasks are varied, although day-to-day work focuses on supporting EERI projects and staff through research, project and event coordination, and website development and maintenance. Learn more about EERI Post-Graduate internships here

EERI Post-Graduate Internships are a great way to gain valuable professional experience, to be involved in meaningful projects related to seismic safety and risk reduction, and to make connections with EERI’s multi-disciplinary professional community. The EERI office is conveniently located in downtown Oakland, and is accessible by BART, AC Transit, bike, and automobile.

Preference is given to EERI members. New internship positions become available every four to six months. Read more about EERI Post-Graduate Internships here.

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Earthquake Spectra August 2017 Issue Now Available

CaptureThe August 2017 issue of Earthquake Spectra (Volume 33, Issue 3) is now available online. Print copies of the new issue have been mailed.



Earthquake Spectra: Preprint Manuscripts

 Eleven (11) preprint manuscripts have been posted to the Earthquake Spectra website prior to formal publication. The papers to be published are:  

  • Seismic Behavior of Slender HPFRCC Diagonally Reinforced Coupling Beams with Limited Transverse Bars by Sang Whan Han (M. EERI, 1994), Jin Wook Kang and Chang Seok Lee (M. EERI, 2016)
  • Time-variant modal parameters and response behavior of a base-isolated building tested on a shake table by Rodrigo Astroza (M. EERI, 2017), Gonzalo Gutiérrez, Christian Repenning and Francisco Hernández
  • Ground Motion Intensity Measures for Rocking Building Systems by Mehrdad Shokrabadi and Henry V. Burton (M. EERI, 2011)
  • A Laser-Based Optical Sensor for Broad-Band Measurements of Building Earthquake Drift by David McCallen (M. EERI, 1990), Floriana Petrone (M. EERI, 2016), Jason Coates and Nicholas Repanich
  • Numerical and Empirical Simulation of Linear Elastic Seismic Response of a Building: The Case of Nice Prefecture (Southeastern France) by Guillermo Wenceslao Fernández Lorenzo, Maria Paola Santisi d'Avila, Anne Deschamps, Etienne Bertrand, E. Diego Mercerat, Laetitia Foundotos and Françoise Courboulex
  • Parapets, politics, and making a difference: Lessons from Christchurch by Ann Brower
  • FAS-Compatible Synthetic Signals for Equivalent-Linear Site Response Analyses by Margarita Chi-Miranda and Luis A. Montejo (M. EERI, 2003)
  • Assessment of Infrastructure Resilience in the 2015 Gorkha Earthquake by Jin Zhu, Barsha Manandhar, Jenny Truong, N. Emel Ganapati, Nipesh Pradhananga, Rachel Davidson (M. EERI, 1995) and Ali Mostafavi
  • Observations of landslides caused by the April 2015 Gorkha earthquake in Nepal based on land, UAV and satellite reconnaissance by Dimitrios Zekkos (M. EERI, 2007), Marin Clark, Michael Whitworth, William Greenwood, A. Joshua West, Kevin Roback, Gen Li, Deepak Chamlagain, John Manousakis, Paul Quackenbush, William Medwedeff and Jerome Lynch (M. EERI, 2005)
  • From Ergodic to Region- and Site-Specific Probabilistic Seismic Hazard Assessment: Method Development and Application at European and Middle Eastern Sites by Sreeram Reddy Kotha (M. EERI, 2005), Dino Bindi and Fabrice Cotton
  • Site-Corrected Magnitude and Region Dependent Correlations of Horizontal Peak Spectral Amplitudes by Sreeram Reddy Kotha (M. EERI, 2005), Dino Bindi and Fabrice Cotton 

To read all current preprint manuscripts posted, visit Earthquake Spectra preprints.

If you have questions about Spectra, contact Managing Editor Liz Stalnaker at

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News of the Profession

Links to Recent News and Views

Six recent links articles, stories, opinions, or reports from around the web

1oneFeinstein, Murkowski Introduce Bill to Strengthen National Earthquake Resilience Program (Press Release) Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) introduced the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program Reauthorization Act, a bill to reauthorize a national program to improve the nation’s earthquake preparedness. The legislation modernizes earthquake-safety programs that help states like California and Alaska prepare for and respond to earthquakes. Read more

2twoIn Houston, a Terrifying Real-Life Lesson for Disaster-Prone Cities (New York Times) “We look at (Houston) and realize that while they might be under water, we someday will be under crumbled buildings,” said Eric M. Garcetti, the mayor of Los Angeles. “And it will take years, if not decades, to rebuild.” Read more

3threeOwners of San Francisco ‘Soft-Story’ Buildings Slow to File for Required Retrofits (San Francisco Chronicle) Owners of roughly one-third of “tier three” apartment buildings have ignored a Sept. 15 deadline to bring their properties up to current seismic safety standards. Read more

4fourIllegal Building and the Ischia (Italy) Earthquake (EuroNews) Last week’s magnitude 4.0 quake was relatively benign, nevertheless people lost their lives, struck by rubble from collapsing buildings. The president of Legambiente said, “Ischia has always been a symbol of illegal building, random overbuilding and impunity,” and 600 buildings have been ordered to be torn down on the island. Read more

5fiveThe Legacy of the 1992 Nicaragua Tsunami (Earth & Space Science News) A powerful tsunami struck Nicaragua’s Pacific coast 25 years ago. In its wake emerged the first coordinated collaboration among international tsunami scientists. Read more

6sixLooking Back At The Most Powerful Earthquake Ever To Strike North America (NPR) The deadly quake that shook Alaska in 1964 was so loud some thought it was the beginning of World War III. Read more

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