Major damage from the October 10 earthquake was concentrated in and around the capital city of San Salvador. Losses exceeded $900 million, or 25% of El Salvador's 1986 gross domestic product. Poor soil conditions, ineffective land use controls, and inadequate building practices combined with the severe shaking intensity to produce widespread damage to both engineered and nonengineered structures. Residential, institutional, and commercial buildings sustained heavy damage. Nonstructural damage and damage to building contents contributed to economic and operational loss. Government officials are making a deliberate attempt to incorporate new knowledge in reconstruction planning. However, recovery and reconstruction will be a slow process due to the current state of the economy.

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