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Peru Earthquake and Adobe Dwellings

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CNN has been covering the story daily on their web site.  I think the
epicenter was actually offshore so the effects may have been lessened some
what by the time the shock waves hit land.

 CHARACATO, Peru (AP) -- Their simple brick homes in ruins, residents of this      
 Andean highland town began a painstaking process of cleaning up and rebuilding    
 after a devastating weekend earthquake.                                           
 Many sought hammers and bricks to rebuild their homes. Others braced for what     
 promises to be a long and frustrating return to normalcy.                         
 "We don't have anything," said Augustin Chuquimamani, mixing mortar and laying a  
 fresh brick wall on his one-room house in Characato, a remote arming community 16 
 kilometers (10 miles) south of Arequipa, Peru's second largest city.              
 Families hauled away debris as they took stock.                                   
 "We don't have a kitchen, we don't even have metal sheets to a make a roof," he   
 Chuquimamani was among hundreds of residents in Characato who suffered losses in  
 Saturday's 8.1-magnitude quake. At least 102 people died, 1,368 were injured and  
 46,470 were left homeless, Peru's Civil Defense Institute said Tuesday.           
 A 5.5-magnitude quake late Monday struck the region, according to Peru's          
 Geophysical Institute. No major damage or deaths were immediately reported, civil 
 defense officials in the area said.                                               
 "All of us sleep on the ground," said Chuquimamani's wife, Felicina. "It gets     
 very cold -- so cold that the kids start crying."                                 
 Across southern Peru, people pushed wheel-barrels and helped neighbors comb       
 through shattered homes two days after the quake. Coated in dust, many searched   
 for belongings amid mounds of wreckage and chunks of broken rock bigger than      
 Others set about the task of repairing homes, colonial churches and hundreds of   
 businesses flattened by a temblor that shook the region for more than a minute.   
 "You can't mope, you have to accept reality and move on," said Ronald Reula,      
 clutching a sledgehammer and a shovel to clear away the rubble-cluttered area     
 where his bedroom once stood.                                                     
 After reviewing data on the temblor, geophysicists at the U.S. Geological Survey  
 upgraded the quake's magnitude from 7.9 to 8.1, qualifying the temblor as "great" 
 -- the highest grade for earthquakes.                                             
 "Had this happened in a more populated area, the damage would been worse," said   
 Waverly Person, a geophysicist at the U.S. National Earthquake Information        
 In Characato, Ronald Reula joined 10 other relatives at the crumbled remains of   
 their house. Reula's uncles and cousins carried away rock and debris in wash      
 basins and wicker baskets.                                                        
 "We're not sure what we're going to do," he said. "We've got to start over from   
 For a second straight day, aid workers combed hard-to-reach hamlets to aid the    
 injured and start rebuilding in communities of mud-brick houses. They answered    
 calls for help from stranded survivors via ham radios.                            
 In Arequipa, authorities blocked off roads leading to the city center out of fear 
 heavy traffic might trigger further damage to hundreds of historic homes and      
 Workers on ladders and scaffolding clutched buckets of plaster and concrete as    
 they patched up cracked walls. Bulldozers roamed the streets and hauled away      
 anything smashed or wrecked.                                                      
 Famed for its colonial architecture, Arequipa sits at 7,769 feet (2,331 meters)   
 above sea level, nestled between an imposing volcano and the Andes mountains 465  
 miles (748 kilometers) south of Lima. The city has been declared a world cultural 
 treasure by the United Nations.                                                   
 In Geneva, Switzerland, the International Committee of the Red Cross announced an 
 appeal for more than dlrs 1 million to aid quake victims and airlifted more       
 tents, blankets and food from Panama.                                             
 The European Union said Tuesday it freed up 1.15 million euros ($988,000 million) 
 to provide victims food aid, temporary shelter, medical support, water and        
 sanitation. U.S. aid would starting arriving soon, said John Hamilton, the U.S.   
 ambassador to Peru.                                                               
 Peruvian Foreign Minister Javier Perez de Cuellar also announced a government     
 emergency plan, saying a priority would be delivering aid to the homeless.        

----- Forwarded by Tom Hunt/DFD on 06/28/01 09:14 AM -----
                    Roselund, SE"        To:     <seaint(--nospam--at)>                                               
                    <njineer@att.        cc:                                                                       
                    net>                 Subject:     Peru Earthquake and Adobe Dwellings                          
                    08:51 AM                                                                                       
                    respond to                                                                                     

There was an earthquake, Richter 8.1, in Peru last Saturday.  I've  seen
very little in the news about it.  The latest information I've read
reported 71 killed.  That's a small number for such a large quake.

Researchers (Julio Vargas Neumann, Juan Bariola, and others) in the
Engineering Department at Universidad Catolica del Peru have been
developing  seismic resistant earthen architecture for houses of adobe, and
of  quincha construction.

Has that research paid off in good seismic performance of adobe dwellings
and other kinds of earthen construction using the techniques they have

Nels Roselund
Structural Engineer
South San Gabriel, CA

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