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RE: tsunami volunteers

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Jonathan C. Mallard, PE
Structural Engineer
Ph: (804) 285-9021
Fx: (804) 285-0991
jmallard(--nospam--at) <>

-----Original Message-----
From: akester [mailto:akester(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Friday, January 07, 2005 10:50 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: tsunami volunteers

I have been out of town and not checking the list post-tsunami, but does anyone know of an organization that is seeking volunteer structural engineers to go to any of the damaged areas and assess structural damage and perform other building forensics?
If so, please provide a link to a website or a phone number.
While on the island of Maui over the holidays I noticed the tsunami sirens, and while I was there they tested them. Good thing about Hawaii is in 5 minutes you can be 200 feet above sea level. They have regular waves that were breaking on the north shore of Maui at a place called Jaws that are 30' plus. I surf and read a lot about the ocean and how waves form and break, but my lack of knowledge of tsunamis and oceanography is this- does a tsunami wave have a very long period with a mass of water behind it, so that it doesn't just curl and break on the reef or rock ledge like a normal wave? It would seem some of these places would be protected by the outer reefs like they are from normal surf, but then again, a tsunami is nowhere near a "normal" swell. As I understand it, in deep water, the wave may only be a foot or two, but it is very wide and moving at 500+ mph.
My heart really goes out to all of those affected, my good friend living in Bangkok and all his family, and the beautiful and wonderful people of Thailand, a place I was so fortunate to visit a couple of years ago (and of course all of the countries). It also makes me think even more, how lucky we were in Central FL with maybe 10-20 deaths from 3 hurricanes!! Half of which were from people, rest their souls, who put generators or grills inside their houses. I lost power for 5 days, 3 times, WHO CARES!  I am still mad because FEMA cut checks for people's generators, chain saws, thawed food, etc. no matter your income or need. Americans can be very generous and very greedy too.
Really puts things in perspective as today I did an investigation of a guy's pool and deck that had some cracks and damage post-hurricane......
Sorry for the ramble,
Andrew Kester, PE
Structural Engineering Consultant
Lake Mary, FL