The September 19th, 2017 Puebla, Mexico earthquake

Final report of the New Zealand reconnaissance team

  • Samuel Roeslin University of Auckland, NZ
  • Hugón Juárez-Garcia Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana Azcapotzalco, Mexico City
  • Kenneth Elwood University of Auckland, NZ
  • Rajesh Dhakal University of Canterbury, New Zealand
  • Alonso Gómez-Bernal Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana Azcapotzalco, Mexico City

Abstract

This report presents the observations and findings following the 2017 Puebla earthquake that occurred in
Mexico on September 19th, 2017. The reconnaissance mission was a collaboration between the New Zealand
Society of Earthquake Engineering (NZSEE), the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana (UAM) Azcapotzalco,
the American Concrete Institute (ACI) Disaster Reconnaissance team, and the Colegio de Ingenieros Civiles
de Mexico (CICM). During the earthquake, 77 buildings suffered partial or total collapse and more than
8,000 buildings experienced damage ranging from slight damage to significant structural damage necessitating
demolition. As observed in previous earthquakes, the unique soil conditions of Mexico City resulted in
extensive damage to the city’s infrastructure, primarily due to local site effects. The earthquake caused
relatively more damage to buildings built on transition and soft soil zones (i.e. between hard and deep soft
soils) than those on hard soils.
The NZSEE and UAM team focussed on areas with widespread and extensive damage. They also assessed
the performance of repaired and retrofitted buildings after the 1985 Michoacán earthquake. It was found that
the lessons learnt from the 1985 Michoacán earthquake led to some risk mitigation measures which benefited
several buildings in the 2017 earthquake. Retrofitted buildings were found to have performed very well with
little or no damage when compared to other buildings.

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Published
2020-09-01
How to Cite
Roeslin, S., Juárez-Garcia, H., Elwood, K., Dhakal, R., & Gómez-Bernal, A. (2020). The September 19th, 2017 Puebla, Mexico earthquake. Bulletin of the New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering, 53(3), 150-172. https://doi.org/10.5459/bnzsee.53.3.150-172
Section
Articles