What is A Virtual Clearinghouse?

Beginning in 2009, EERI created a series of virtual earthquake clearinghouses after major earthquakes where information coming from the affected area could be quickly shared with members and others. These virtual clearinghouses are website that contain early information provided by investigators from a variety of disciplines, including members of EERI reconnaissance teams. The virtual clearinghouses primarily capture ephemeral data about each event, but may also be updated with recovery and rebuilding information over time. For a complete list of EERI virtual clearinghouse sites, visit http://www.eqclearinghouse.org/ or the full EERI Learning from Earthquakes archive https://www.eeri.org/projects/learning-from-earthquakes-lfe/lfe-reconnaissance-archive/.

How do I use this site?

EERI members and other investigators are encouraged to use this clearinghouse website to share brief observations and photos from the field as well as link to other resources or websites where more detailed information can be found. Please help contribute to our effort.

The Reconnaissance Reports page contains all the information collected through various sources such as field investigations and professional reports. This page provides users with several resources including reconnaissance reports, media articles, previously collected data, regional earthquake archives, and housing reports for the effected area. It also contains links to other sites for more information.

The Maps and Photos page contains maps and a photo gallery that display observations (primarily captioned photos but occasionally other data) from EERI field teams or other contributors showing earthquake damage and impacts. Many of these photos are geolocated to allow field teams, researchers and those involved in the recovery effort to identify specific damage locations. Both the galleries and data maps can also be filtered by the user and searched for information of interest. The maps also overlay many data layers from other organizations including the USGS shake maps and ground motion stations when possible.

The How to Contribute page identifies ways that EERI members and other earthquake risk reduction experts can contribute to the reconnaissance effort and virtual clearinghouse site.

If you are interested in a particular topic, use the search bar at the top of the page to find information on specific subjects, navigate posts, and uncover related media articles. Additionally, use the search bar to explore the Photo Gallery to see what has been posted thus far.

How does EERI respond to earthquakes? What does a reconnaissance team do?

EERI responds to earthquakes as a part of its Learning from Earthquakes program: https://www.eeri.org/projects/learning-from-earthquakes-lfe. EERI often sends a reconnaissance team of earthquake risk mitigation experts to investigate earthquake impacts depending on the earthquake magnitude, location, extent of impacts on the built environment, funding constraints, and many other factors. The reconnaissance team makes a rapid, general damage survey of the affected area, documents initial important observations from the particular earthquake, and assesses the need for follow-up areas of research. Observations and findings from these teams support emergency response and recovery activities in the short term and improving the understanding of natural hazards and how to mitigate their impacts in the long term.

Even in earthquakes where EERI does not send its own team, it will coordinate with other responding colleagues and teams to enhance collaboration and avoid duplication of efforts. In these cases, EERI will also post all relevant field observations, photos, and reports from responding teams to its virtual clearinghouse site as they become available.

Who is EERI?

The Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) is a nonprofit multi-disciplinary technical society of engineers, practicing professionals, and researchers dedicated to reducing earthquake risk. For more information visit www.eeri.org.