On May 3rd, we went with Gen. Ruiz and Ing. Flores into the barricaded area of Manta, the neighborhood of Tarqui. This area had the most damage and was a mix of large to small commercial buildings and hotels, plus multi family and single family houses (some mixed use).
Many of the small and medium sized buildings that had collapsed were already demolished and some were being taken down while we were there.
There were buildings with very different performance on the same block and the reason for the difference in performance was not obvious. Additional investigation is needed to see really why some had collapsed and others did not.
There were several green-tagged residential buildings in the area – particularly along one street. Though one of the homeowners there was telling us that they didn’t know if the green tag for their house was correct because although the exterior looked undamaged, they said many of the walls inside were damaged.
Tuesday evening we presented a seminar with Ing. Flores in Manta, open to the public. We spoke about our experiences in housing reconstruction following other earthquakes and Ing. Flores presented on the Construction Code.
On Wednesday we headed to Portoviejo and stopped in Crucita, a coastal town along the way. Overall Crucita had very little damage compared to Manta to the south and Canoa to the north. A local business owner told us that only 6 houses had significant damage. Walter interviewed a builder there to find out about local construction practices.
We then visited downtown Portoviejo, the area in the city with the most damages. There were not many 1-2 story houses, but some were damaged, particularly when mixed-use. There were many taller, larger and mixed-use structures, which were damaged in many cases.
We then presented a similar seminar as the previous night with Ing. Flores, but in Portoviejo.