Tuesday, March 2, 2010

03/02 Met with AHEC (Association Haitienne des Entreprises de Construction) folks. Very concerned but calm group of engineers and architects. They asked if faculty from the USA could come and teach earthquake engineering in Haiti, several weeks or a semester at a time.

Photo on the left show "random houses" appearing on government property since mid-1980s.

AHEC folks told us that the building permits used to be issued by the Ministry of Public Works; but since about 2000, municipalities are given the right to issue permits (sounds very familiar). Which one cares about "long term" consequences more? Municipilities or the State?

We visited several hospitals -- difficult places to inspect. If they are in bad shape, not easy to go around and sanitation is an issue. If they are in good shape, there are patients and access is limited.

Checked out couple of hotels (Oasis --under construction-- and Karibe --Union School renovated as hotel three years ago; reinforced concrete block infill walls were added. Damage is mostly limited to infill walls. Saw only one column with captive-column induced shear failure. Not critical.

Weather is hot (30+ degC) and humid (est. 85%).
We took a break at the end of the day and visited the port. Heavy damage all over. US Navy working on the port.

Taptap -- very colorful minibuses adds to the traffic fun. Whenever there is a traffic light, folks obey, most of the time.

Gotta go. We have one line to Internet and several folks waiting in line.

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