AIR Earthquake Engineer To Lead Reconnaissance Team to Italy

November 13, 2002

Boston-based AIR Worldwide announced that the company’s manager of engineering analysis, Dr. Paolo Bazzurro, has been selected to lead a group of engineers organized by the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) to Molise, Italy “to study the impact of earthquakes on buildings, transportation, utility systems and emergency response efforts.”

AIR, which recently became part of the ISO, is a technological leader in catastrophe modeling and weather risk management. The team in Italy will collect data and try to determine the cause of the collapse of buildings from a comparatively moderate 5.9 earthquake on that struck the region around Molise on October 31 taking 29 lives. 26 of the dead were children buried in the rubble of their elementary school.

The Italian earthquake affected several towns and resulted in extensive damage, but what is particularly troubling to the EERI, as well as local officials, is why some newer buildings collapsed, while others, some centuries old, remained standing.

EERI is also sending a reconnaissance team to Alaska to asses the magnitude 7.9 earthquake that struck there on November 3. Even though it was “one of the largest recorded earthquakes in U.S. history” it caused only slight damage, as it struck a sparsely populated area.

“Dr. Bazzurro’s team will examine the patterns of damage and try to determine their causes. The findings will be used by the EERI to help engineers prevent future destruction by examining new techniques to mitigate damage and loss of life from future earthquakes,” said the bulletin.

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