Massive Damage Assessment Program and Repair and Reconstruction Strategy in the Aftermath of the 2010 Haiti Earthquake

The January 2010 Haiti earthquake resulted in over 230,000 deaths, affected 3 million people, and damaged or collapsed over 200,000 structures. An unprecedented earthquake damage assessment project by a joint operation of the Haitian Ministry of Public Works, the United Nations Office of Project Services, the Pan American Development Foundation, and the authors was undertaken with three strategic goals: (1) rapid damage assessment, (2) reconstruction database development, and (3) upgrade the technical capabilities of Haitian engineers. A modified version of the Applied Technology Council’s ATC-20 technical platform, accounting for Haitian building design, was developed. As part of this program, PDA-based data collection techniques and quality-assurance programs were implemented, and approximately 600 Haitian engineers were trained. As of March 2011, approximately 400,000 buildings had been inspected. This database was used to develop: (1) repair strategies for yellow-tagged structures, and (2) reparability, reconstruction, and demolition assessments or red-tagged structures. This program could also be extended as a platform for a seismic damage evaluation and reconstruction strategies in other parts of the world.

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