Seismic Safety Commission and Cooperation with Mexico

An Intergovernmental Effort to Help Improve Resilience and Response

California and Mexico share more than a long border, they share a common threat from earthquakes.  At the November 2017 Commission meeting Commissioners Miyamoto and Meneses, plus Dr. Sang-Ho Yun from JPL (a commission partner organization) presented their findings on Lessons Learned from the September 2017 Puebla-Mexico City M 7.1 earthquake.  This work was designed to gather lessons learned and apply them to reduce California’s earthquake risk.

The Commisison worked with teams from the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM) Instituto de Ingenieria, the Geotechnical Extreme Events Reconnaissance (GEER) team (funded by NSF) during the period September 24-30, 2017 and visited Mexico City, Puebla and Morelos, the Valsequillo Dam and the Epicentral area.  A detailed report from GEER can be found here.

Some of the benefits from the field work include the following:

  • Strengthened collaboration between Mexico and USA (California)
  • UNAM-Instituto de Ingenieria will participate (in addition to CICESE). The two leading earthquake research centers in Mexico will now partner
  • There is improved knowledge of building stock and seismic behavior in Mexico which can inform similar structures in the US
  • The importance of local site effects on seismic response of buildings and infrastructure
  • The limitations of building codes (if they are not enforced, they have no impact)
  • The value of developing community-based policies