Wednesday, September 23, 2015

EERI reaction to the M8.3 earthquake

As part of its Learning from Earthquakes Program (LFE), EERI is responding to the M8.3 earthquake that struck 46 km west of Illapel, Chile on September 16, 2015. According to initial reports from EERI members in the country, the earthquake shaking and subsequent tsunami alert led to the safe evacuation of more than one million people along the coastline.

On Monday, September 21, EERI’s LFE Executive Committee met to discuss and plan a response to the Chile earthquake. Based on information available, the committee decided on the following actions:

1. Launch a virtual clearinghouse website to document earthquake impacts and easily share observations with EERI members and other colleagues. The clearinghouse site is now live at

2. Solicit volunteers (especially students and young professionals in Chile) to participate as clearinghouse curators. These curators will collect information from media sources and expert field teams on particular topic areas or preliminary research areas, then synthesize the results into curated summaries. These summaries can help not only in reporting on topics areas, but may be helpful in identifying new areas of potential research. For this earthquake, clearinghouse curators are expected to create 1–3 posts on their selected topic within approximately one month of the event, depending on the amount of information available and relevant insights to share with the EERI membership. More information is shown at

3. Coordinate and collaborate with Chilean colleagues for observations from the field, and encourage them to submit reports and data. To support submission of field photos and observations, EERI has launched a custom data map similar to the one used after the 2015 Nepal earthquake. EERI’s reconnaissance tools offer a seamless way for colleagues to submit geolocated photos to the map either from the field or upon their return. The map currently shows several public data layers to inform field team response.

4. Coordinate with any other international reconnaissance teams headed to the region for observations from the field, and encourage them to submit reports and data.

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