The team met this morning in Los Angeles where we boarded our flight to Mexico City. Following an uneventful flight, we joined back up outside of customs and met Jose, our driver. We gathered outside the airport, hopped in the shuttle van, and ventured into the City on a quest for street Tacos. Finding an appropriate street stand, the criteria for dinner was to select the dish with the least amount of food remaining, thus indicating that was the favorite of the day.
With our appetites satisfied, we were ready to take the first serious step on of Recon trip which was to meet with a representative of the Sociedad Mexicana de Ingenieria Estructural (SMIE). At the Colegio De Ingenieros Civiles De Mexico we met with Dr. Luciano Roberto Fernandez Sola and discussed the response to the earthquake provided by SMIE and the multiple entities that have and are still responding. From the perspective of SMIE, it appears that the response mirrors closely to that expected for Southern California. Dr. Sola and the teams divided the most heavily affected area of the city into approximately 50 zones and gathered approximately 30 inspection teams to canvass the zones for damage. Teams were led by senior engineers, with experienced deputies and several university student volunteers.
The teams completed upward of 2000 initial or rapid inspections (similar to a CalOES Rapid Assessment) to categorize the damage as high risk or low risk. Of the 2000 surveyed structured approximately 400 were classified as having high risk. Further assessments are being completed now to better categorize these buildings in a manner similar to completing a Cal OES Detailed Assessment. We covered a significant amount of information during our discussion with Dr. Sola with the goal of helping to set the stage for our work over the next few days.
After our meeting at SMIE, we checked in to the hotel. Where we gathered later to define our itinerary for the next few days. Daniel Zepeda has made some serious contacts with members of the engineering community here in Mexico City and tomorrow we hope to connect with an engineer to discuss and inspect a major hospital in downtown. Following the hospital review, we intend to visit several the high-risk structures and survey the surrounding neighborhoods to gain insight as to the types of damage in context with the different buildings observed.
Today was not so much a day to cover ground conducting review, but rather was spent familiarizing ourselves with the situation here in Mexico City. We look forward to spending tomorrow digging into the issues.
Meeting with Dr. Sola at SMIE to discuss strategy for our trip over the next few days.
From left to right: Russell, Daniel (foreground), Marty (background), Dion, Dr. Sola, Raul and Ken (behind the camera).