Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Michigan Tech, El Salvador university researchers work to save lives

By Marcia Goodrich, Michigan Tech Magazine Editor
Posted July 2, 2013, on Michigan Tech News
Reprinted in part with permission

In November 2009, the muddy north slopes of San Vicente volcano gave way, destroying communities and killing hundreds. Michigan Tech and University of El Salvador scientists are working together to help mitigate future disasters. (Photo © Fredy Cruz and courtesy Michigan Tech University)

HOUGHTON -- On Nov. 9, 2009, Hurricane Ida dumped 18 inches of rain on the northern slopes of the extinct San Vicente volcano. The already rain-soaked mountain could hold no more and gave way.

The massive mud and debris flows that followed killed nearly 400 people. Since then, researchers from Michigan Technological University and the University of El Salvador - Multidisciplinary Faculty of the Central Region, San Vicente, have been working together to mitigate the human toll in future catastrophes.

Fredy Cruz, director of graduate studies and an agronomy professor at the San Vicente campus, came to Houghton last week to collaborate with Michigan Tech scientists and attend a workshop on remote sensing and hazard modeling.

"We’re working to identify areas that are susceptible to landslides and flooding, and we’re also trying to identify those communities that are the most vulnerable, not just geographically, but also economically," he said. ... Click here to read the whole story and see more photos on Michigan Tech News.

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