Day 2 (Part 2): Canoa and Jama- Analysis of Damaged Homes and Schools

Lizzie BlaisdellEcuador, Engineering, Engineering explanations, Post-disaster ReconnaissanceLeave a Comment

House with mixed walls at upper level - roof and wall collapse in Jama, Ecuador

After Canoa, we next headed north to Jama, another coastal town.  In Jama we selected a street in town and compared the building type and performance of each, one-by-one.  There were 7 houses, some with commercial space below.  Six houses were wood framed, 2-stories, and one was reinforced concrete, 3-stories.

Team in Jama on the street surveyed: Ing. Flores, Walter, Lizzie, and Juan

Of the wood framed, 5 had masonry infill at the ground floor and 1 had bamboo lath with plaster overlay at the ground floor.  Four had wood only walls at the upper level while two had mixed wood and masonry infill walls at the upper level.  In general of the wood-framed buildings, we saw the most damage (wall and partial roof collapse) in the upper levels of buildings where wood and masonry infill walls were mixed.  This is probably because the wood walls were not sufficient to resist the larger load imparted by the adjacent heavier masonry infill.  Houses with wood only walls at the upper level generally performed well, with minimal damage (some movement at the floor level at some column joints) except where it appeared the wood was deteriorated and not well maintained.

The concrete frame with infill building fully collapsed at the ground floor level (hinging at the ground floor columns) and the infill was damaged. It was not directly observable, but it was likely that the ground floor had more open area in the from elevation, creating a weak/soft story condition.

Concrete frame with infill - suspected soft/weak story collapse

Concrete frame with infill – suspected soft/weak story collapse

In Jama, we also observed some damages to schools – site wall collapse and building wall collapse.

In general it seems people have a more negative impression of the concrete buildings and are more comfortable with wood after the earthquake, because of the difference in performance and survivability.  We saw a comparative example on the ride back to Manta, when a 2-story concrete frame with infill police station was heavily damaged, and the adjacent wood housing across the street was fully usable, without damage.

 

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