Field Report: Post-Disaster Assessment of Typhoon Haiyan
A sample of the devastation wrought by Typhoon Haiyan in Tacloban, Philippines. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Last November, the Philippines was devastated by the strongest, deadliest typhoon in the nation’s history, the most powerful to make landfall anywhere ever. With wind speeds reaching 195 mph, Typhoon Haiyan killed at least 6,200 people and affected 11 million total, leaving many homeless. On Saturday, May 3, a team of 7 civil engineers from ASCE’s Technical Council on Forensic Engineering, in cooperation with the Technical Council on Wind Engineering, left for the Philippines on a week-long mission to conduct post-disaster assessments, documenting evidence of structural and geo-system damage to historic and residential structures and public infrastructure. The specific objectives of this project are two-fold: 1) to collect perishable data on wind- and water-damaged structures from Typhoon Haiyan and correlate the data to the storm surge level from the coast to inland; and 2) to develop the framework and recommendations for future improvements to ASCE-recommended design and construction practices, including those specific to the forensic community regarding inspections of damaged structures. Among the team is a specialist in building condition assessments, Mark E. Leeman, P.E., M.ASCE, vice president of Facility Engineering Associates of Fairfax, Virginia, who chronicles the team’s experiences in this exclusive daily report for ASCE.
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