The Structural Engineers Association of Southern California (SEAOSC) jumped into action in response to the M6.4 and M7.1 earthquakes that took place in Southern California over the July 4th holiday weekend. The organization disseminated several press releases to help inform members and the general public. A team of SEAOSC members also headed to the earthquake area. Scroll below for copies of the press releases, video, and podcast.
ICC Pulse Podcast -- In this special edition episode, we are joined by special guest Ken O’Dell, S.E. who is a California Structural Engineer, the President of the Structural Engineers Association of Southern California and a Principal of California based MHP Structural Engineers. In light of the Searles Valley Earthquakes, O’Dell discusses his work related to seismic activity and shares insight on seismic design provisions in the building code.
SPECIAL: Seismic Activity & the Searles Valley Earthquake
July 10, 2019
Several SEAOC/SEAOSC leaders were featured in this article from the Los Angeles Times including Ken O'Dell, SEAOSC President, Wayne Chang, SEAOSC Board Member, and Janiele Maffei, SEAONC President. Click the link below to read the article.
Ridgecrest Earthquake Mystery: Why so little destruction from huge temblors?
July 8, 2019
SEAOSC President Ken O'Dell also participated in a Sunday news conference with Los Angeles County officials and seismologist Dr. Lucy Jones, where they discussed recent seismic activity in the wake of two major temblors in the Mojave Desert and urged Southland residents to be prepared for earthquakes. Ken's impromptu inclusion begins just before the 43:00 minute mark, with Supervisor Hahn stating that we shouldn't fall into complacency, and runs through about 47:30. Click below for the video.
July 5, 2019
The Structural Engineers Association of Southern California (SEAOSC) extends its support to the residents of Ridgecrest and the surrounding region following the M6.4 earthquake on July 4, 2019. SEAOSC has designated several points of contact that can be reached to serve as subject matter experts to assist the media gather information or address questions related to this earthquake event.
Designated Media Contacts
The following individuals are designated by SEAOSC as subject matter expert. Their contact information is as follows:
Ken O'Dell, SE
SEAOSC Immediate Past President
Important Message for the General Public
SEAOSC would like to remind the Public the following actions to consider when entering or interacting with structures following an earthquake event:
- Aftershocks may further damage or cause the collapse of buildings or structures that were compromised during the main shock. These aftershocks may occur at any time up to hours, weeks, and even years after the initial event.
- The larger the main shock, the greater and more frequent the aftershocks. Remember to immediately drop, cover, and hold if shaking is felt.
- Earthquakes often cause damage to utilities; be aware of the possibility of downed power lines, damaged road surfaces and gas leaks.
- When reviewing your immediate surroundings and buildings, exercise caution. If damage appears to be excessive, contact your local building official or a structural engineer to provide an initial assessment
- Pay attention to potential falling hazardous, including broken chimneys, parapets, and wall finishes.
For additional information and resources, including how to find a structural engineer, please go to www.SEAOSC.org or www.SEAOSC.org/Find-an-Engineer.
Founded in 1929, SEAOSC strives to advance the science of structural engineering; assist the public in obtaining dependable structural engineering services; encourage engineering education; and inform the public regarding the province of the structural engineer.
Role of SEAOSC Members
SEAOSC members serve in many capacities during earthquake events. This includes, but is not limited to, the following roles:
- Technical support to the California's Office of Emergency Services' Safety Assessment Program that assist local governments and communities affected by earthquakes to inspect and evaluate damaged buildings and structures.
- Structural specialists with local Urban Search and Recuse (US&R) teams.
- Participants on technical structural committees that evaluates the performance of buildings and structures affected by earthquakes.
- Structural design professionals that can assist property owners with assessments, evaluations, and repair designs for their buildings or structures.
July 5, 2019
The recent M7.1 Aftershock (8:19PM) is approximately 11 times stronger in terms of energy release and is expected to result in greater levels of damage than yesterday’s M6.4 event. Centered near Ridgecrest again, this recent aftershock, occurring in the early evening hours, likely creates additional concerns for first responders as night falls. As we have done since yesterday, the Association will continue to monitor the reports and will update you with additional information when we gain more details of the event and possible needs of the nearby communities.
Sharing of Information
SEAOSC encourages you to share your experiences and information to inform discussions regarding this aftershock. We know of at least one team consisting of SEAOSC Members that is headed to the area. If your or members of your firm complete reconnaissance or building assessments, we ask that you share your findings with our members, so we may continue to build our knowledge base of lessons learned. Equally, you are encouraged to continue to caution your clients of the potential aftershocks and possibility of increased magnitude events. Additional aftershocks may increase damage or cause the collapse of buildings or structures that were compromised during this recent significant event. If you wish to share photos or observations, you are encouraged to use the SEAOSC hashtag #SEAOSCEQ in your social media posts on Twitters, LinkedIn, or Facebook.
Participation in Survey
SEAOSC asks that you and your clients participate in the USGS’s “Did You Feel It” survey, as soon as it is available. This will allow the engineering and scientific community to gather information related to the effects of earthquake events.
Communication with Clients or the General Public
Lastly, this earthquake aftershock is another good example of why we need to be prepared. SEAOSC suggests you emphasize the importance of preparedness and response planning over the next few weeks as this series of earthquakes is discussed. Part of a good preparedness plan is gathering information about a building and its capacity serve the needs of its occupants in the aftermath of an earthquake; structural engineers fill the key role in providing this necessary information. One of the best ways to be prepared is to have a well-designed building that can remain functional following an earthquake.
July 4, 2019
There was a magnitude M6.4 earthquake at 10:33am PDT on July 4, 2019, with the epicenter located near Ridgecrest, California (12km SW of Searles Valley - https://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eventpage/ci38443183/executive). As SEAOSC continues to learn more details of the event and possible needs of the nearby communities, we will update you with any new developments.
Status of SEAOSC
SEAOSC remains fully operational. All administrative, logistical and technical support are functioning and were not been affected by this recent earthquake event. Among other functions, SEAOSC will continue to correspond on behalf of our members, address media questions, provide phone support, and implement our Earthquake Response Plan.
SEAOSC is here to assist you with various resources for earthquake preparation and responses. Some of these resources include support from our technical committees such as, but not limited to, Building Codes and Standards, Existing Buildings, Seismology, Steel Buildings, and Disaster Emergency Services. Contact information for all the committees can be found at www.SEAOSC.org/page-18208
Where possible, SEAOSC encourages you to serve as a valuable resource to aid and assist the community. As a technical support to the California’s Office of Emergency Services, consider volunteering in the Safety Assessment Program that assist local governments and communities affected by earthquakes to inspect and evaluate damaged buildings and structures. Please visit www.caloes.ca.gov/cal-oes-divisions for additional information.
Sharing of Information
SEAOSC encourages you to share your experiences and information to further discussions within our membership and their clients regarding this earthquake event. You are encouraged to caution your clients of the potential aftershocks and possibility of increased magnitude events. Aftershocks may further damage or cause the collapse of buildings or structures that were compromised during the main shock and can occur at any time up to hours, weeks, and even years after the initial event. If you wish to share photos or observations, you are encouraged to use the SEAOSC hashtag #SEAOSCEQ in your social media posts on Twitters, LinkedIn, or Facebook.
Participation in Survey
SEAOSC recommends that you and your clients should participate in the USGS’s “Did You Feel It” survey. This will allow the engineering and scientific community to gather information related to the effects of earthquake events. Please click and forward the link to your Colleagues and Clients https://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eventpage/ci38443183/tellus.
Communication with Client or General Public
Lastly, this earthquake is a good reminder that we need to be prepared. SEAOSC suggests you emphasize the importance of structural engineers to the overall well-being of our communities when communicating to your clients or even members of the public or media, where appropriate. One of the best ways to be prepared is to have a well-designed building that can remain functional following an earthquake.