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Helping Peru Recover From Earthquake
October 10, 2007

An engineering geotechnical team from the University of Missouri-Columbia is traveling to Peru in October to help the earthquake-shattered nation rebuild its most devastated cities.

Thousands of earthquake survivors have been living in makeshift shelters since a magnitude 8.0 quake struck central Peru’s coast on Aug. 15, killing more than 500 people and reducing houses in the cities of Pisco, Ica and Chincha to rubble, according to United Nations reports. Brent Rosenblad, an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, will lead a team charged with helping Peruvian officials find safe sites on which to rebuild.

Mizzou Engineering is coming to Peru’s aid under a cooperative agreement finalized last May between the MU Civil and Environmental Engineering Department and the Centro Regional de Sismologia para America del Sur (CERESIS), a South American organization focusing on earthquake issues. Just four months after inking the agreement, CERESIS formally requested the assistance of a team from the MU Institute for Interdisciplinary Geotechnics.

John Bowders, an MU civil and environmental engineering professor and leader of the Institute, said the group welcomed the opportunity to be of aid as well as to put theory into practice. Practical lessons learned from international earthquakes can be applied to quake zones closer to home, he said.

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