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PRiMEX Presents Findings on 2020 Earthquakes

By on October 3, 2022

Delves into their impact on small and medium-size manufacturers

The Puerto Rico Manufacturing Extension Inc. (PRiMEX) presented two studies on the impact of the 6.4 magnitude earthquake that shook the island on January 7, 2020, as well as its aftershocks. This includes one study on the economic impact, and another on how the infrastructure was affected. These studies show that more than 85 percent of the island’s small and medium-size manufacturing companies have structural problems and face risks if a large seismic event were to occur.

One study evaluated 221 buildings over a two-year period in the southwest region of the island, which was the most affected. The companies are located in the 33 municipalities included in the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Major Disaster Declaration (FEMA-DR-4473) for the seismic event. “Using assessment tools developed by FEMA, one of the studies analyzed potential seismic hazards in the structures of small and mediumsize manufacturing companies,” said engineer Francisco García, PRiMEX’s Earthquake Program director.

He pointed out that the tool provides a methodology for assessing the seismic safety of existing undamaged buildings to indicate which ones should be examined more closely, with the findings reflecting that many structures have a number of irregularities regarding design/construction modification, without considering applicable codes and seismic lateral loads.

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