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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/D001471/1
Principal Investigator: Wilkinson, Dr S
Other Investigators:
Rossetto, Professor T
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Civil Engineering and Geosciences
Organisation: Newcastle University
Scheme: Standard Research (Pre-FEC)
Starts: 22 January 2005 Ends: 21 February 2005 Value (£): 5,645
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Civil Engineering Materials Ground Engineering
Structural Engineering
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
On 26th December 2004 at 00:58:53 UTC (7:58:53 am local time) an earthquake occurred off the west coast of northern Sumatra, Indonesia . This earthquake measured 9 on the Richter scale and is the fourth largest earthquake in the world since 1900. The thrust earthquake resulted in a tsunami that impacted on the shores of Indonesia, Sri-Lanka, India, Thailand causing severe damage. The death toll has surpassed 150,000 people and the World Health Organisation estimates that over 150,000 more are in extreme risk of dangerous diseases. Damage is spread over two continents and many different types of construction have been affected including essential roads and rail networks In areas of the Indonesian coast devastation is total. Losses are expected to run into tens of billions of US dollars. The UK Earthquake Engineering Field Investigation Team (EEFIT) has decided to mount a reconnaissance mission to Sri-Lanka, Thailand and Indonesia to study the effects of the Indonesian earthquake, which occurred on 26th December 2004 and subsequent tsunami. A team of up to 10 earthquake engineering specialists, including 2 from an academic background, are planning to leave for Sri Lanka on 21st January 2005 and spend about 11 days in the disaster zone. This application seeks financial support to help meet the travel costs of the participating academic team members. Of particular interest are the magnitude of the earthquake and resulting tsunami, and the size of affected area. The earthquake is the largest since 1964 and the tsunami is being touted as the most destructive recorded. The earthquake measured 9 on the Richter scale and, was generated by a 1200 km stretch of the Indian plate being thrust up to 20 meters under the Burma plate, raising the seafloor by several meters. The focus of the earthquake was a relatively shallow 30 kilometers below the seafloor. Both the size and rarity of the earthquake and tsunami, and the associated devastation makes this a unique research opportunity to study the effects, how the international community responds and how we can best prepare for similar catastrophes.This earthquake is of particular interest for an EEFIT mission for a number of specific reasons such as the scale of the event and the scarce information divulged of the actual earthquake effects on the built environment, and the unique possibility of studying damage due to a large tsunami on areas hosting a variety of different constructions. Furthermore, it is believed that much can be learned through an assessment of the ability for emergency services to cope with such an event and the impact of international response on disaster consequence mitigation. The mission has been timed so as not to interfere with human rescue missions but to allow the acquisition of perishable data before the commencement of reconstruction.
Key Findings
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Organisation Website: http://www.ncl.ac.uk