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UB professor surveys damage in Chile


Gilberto Mosqueda

UB's Gilberto Mosqueda surveyed damage in Chile after an 8.8-magnitude earthquake hit the country. Photo courtesy / University at Buffalo

When an 8.8-magnitude earthquake hit Chile earlier this month, University at Buffalo professor Gilberto Mosqueda was one of the first engineers to enter the country to survey the damage.

The work done by Mosqueda and other engineers with the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute to document the impact could help lessen the damage of future earthquakes.

"This being one of the biggest earthquakes we've seen in recent times, occurring in Chile, which has pretty modern seismic design codes, I think there's really a lot to learn here," said Mosqueda, a UB assistant professor of civil, structural and environmental engineering.

Mosqueda spent a week documenting damage to the insides of buildings, such as burst pipes or collapsed ceiling systems, in areas near Santiago and Concepcion. He returned this week.

Beyond the engineering lessons Mosqueda found in damaged hospitals and buildings, Mosqueda also brought back a deep respect for the Chilean people.

"In Chile, I think, the people are really trying to work together," Mosqueda said. "They're really motivated to get their country back up and running."

Listen to Mosqueda describe the work and what he saw in Chile in this audio clip:

View maps and other interactive graphics about the earthquake here.

-- Denise Jewell Gee

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