Civil Engineers Travel to Samoa to Study Effects of Earthquake and Tsunami

American Society of Civil Engineers Sends Post-Disaster Assessment Team to Review Coast and Lifeline System Performance

WHAT: A technical assessment team from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) will travel to the Samoan islands to study the impact of the September 29, 2009 earthquake and tsunami on the region’s infrastructure. The team will examine the performance of systems such as drinking water and sewage, roads and power supplies; look at the effectiveness of shore protection and coastal management efforts; and gather information on forces and loading that could aid resilient development efforts.

WHO: The group includes representatives from the ASCE Coasts, Oceans, Ports and Rivers Institute (COPRI):
• Lesley Ewing, P.E., Team Leader, Coastal Engineer, California Coastal Commission
• Jennifer L. Irish, Ph.D., P.E.; Assistant Professor, Texas A&M University
• Christopher P. Jones, P.E.; Senior Engineer, Christopher P. Jones & Associates

WHEN: October 25 to November 1, 2009

WHERE: Areas affected by the earthquake and tsunami in American Samoa, Samoa and Pacific coastal areas

WHY: As part of its disaster response procedure, ASCE forms technical teams to study infrastructure damage caused by natural or man-made disasters. Such studies are conducted so that engineers may learn from the disaster, and perhaps more importantly, so that those lessons learned may be documented to inform future actions.

ASCE has participated in more than a dozen assessments in the last decade, including studies of the World Trade Center and Pentagon in 2001; earthquake assessments in Italy, China, Peru, Japan, Sumatra-Andaman, Algeria, Alaska and California; and assessments following hurricanes Katrina and Ike.

About ASCE
Founded in 1852, the American Society of Civil Engineers represents more than 144,000 civil engineers worldwide and is America’s oldest national engineering society. For more information, visit