The decision to send a team of earthquake engineering researchers and seismologists half way around the world to investigate a tragic earthquake was indeed a difficult one to make considering the circumstances. Logistical problems, from obtaining visas to transporting large equipment packages to mobilization in the field, were enough by themselves to find every reason for not having a reconnaissance effort. Moreover, risks posed by health and safety of investigators in the disaster region, along with the myriad of political issues and high costs associated with an international study of this degree, required much contemplation before a decision was made to deploy a team of investigators. However, an affirmative decision was made because of the benefits that the investigation would have with regard to the Center’s emphasis on earthquake loss reduction in the Central United States. Whereas no two earthquakes and their resulting consequences are identical, similarities between the New Madrid and Bhuj earthquakes, as noted is this report, were sufficient to justify sending a team.
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