On the evening of April 16th, 2016, a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck northern Ecuador, offshore from its west coast. The event drew the attention of the Geotechnical Extreme Events Reconnaissance (GEER) Association, due to the several hundred casualties, tens of thousands homeless, and destruction along the west coast, with evidence of severe ground motions and geotechnical failures. GEER had activated a reconnaissance team with funding by the National Science Foundation (NSF) when a second major Mw6.1 event occurred on April 20th. The GEER team was joined by structural engineers funded by the Applied Technology Council (ATC). GEER has now published a report of its findings from the reconnaissance.
The GEER-Ecuador team was co-led by Dr. Sissy Nikolaou of WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff and Dr. Xavier Vera-Grunauer of the Universidad Católica de Santiago de Guayaquil. The US team members were structural engineers Mr. Ramon Gilsanz of Gilsanz Murray Steficek (GMS) and Ms. Virginia Diaz (GMS), who was the ATC recorder for the report preparation.