Friday, March 5, 2010
3/4 - Thursday. The day started with a breakfast meeting with faculty from the Faculty of Sciences (includes civil engineering) of the State University of Haiti. There is only one state university here and they accept very small number of students; about 20 per year to the Faculty of Sciences. I am told most of the students choose civil or mechanical engineering. It was a most productive meeting. We saw a series of very details map of fault zones (beyond and above what is available online or published so far). Prof. Yves Fritz Joseph, General Director of the National Laboratory for Buildings and Construction (LNBTP) and geotechnical engineering faculty at the SUH, said they will be publishing a new report in a week or so. Had a ~1.5 hr discussion with Profs. Janin Jadotte, Jean Raoul Momplaisir, and Christian Rousseau. We are hoping to collaborate closely. Invited them and their students to join our field investigation. Students are either displaced or staying with their families out of town. School is closed (Faculty of Sciences campus is damaged). They are trying to restart education in May. We asked how we could help. Apparently they are in great need of books (technical and scientific, textbooks). Please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in providing financial support or books. As of now, I do not know how large amounts of books could be shipped to Haiti (cargo lines are used mainly for humanitarian aid).
After the meeting we drove around the Petionville area to find structures with unfinished walls. Stopped at the nursing school of University of Notre Dame (one of three campuses) and checked out two buildings. Measured one. Saw a multi-story new-looking building across a small banana grove. Checked it out and measured. Infill walls at the ground story were damaged. Center-line columns are enlarged. Took measurements. Then on to Digicel complex to measure the structural elements and overall dimensions (see the photo showing series of columns failed in shear).
It was mid-afternoon already. Took measurement from a totaled "do-it-yourself" building (see photo).
The last task was to go to one of the "slum" cities. Incredible amount of destruction. Clean-up crew was hard at work (USAID pays them $5 each and serves two meals a day; that is about four times Haitians earn on average). Most of the crew members are/were living in the area. They also act as the recovery crew (saw two body bags waiting for pick-up). Took lots of panoramic shots.
Tomorrow will be the last day in the field. We are hoping to take measurements in 3-5 buildings (schools, if possible). We are invited to Prof. Jadotte's house in the evening. I will try to post at night/early Saturday morning. If lines are not working, will post after I get back to the States. Flying to Miami on Saturday early afternoon and back in West Lafayette around midnight.