Miyamoto International, a seismic structural engineer, is opening a permanent office in Ponce, Puerto Rico, to offer its services to public and private entities engaged in the repair and seismic strengthening of houses, schools, and government and commercial buildings damaged in the magnitude-6.4 earthquake that hit the island on Jan. 7. Structural engineer Ivan Hernandez heads the Ponce office, which is the 21st office Miyamoto has opened around the world in areas of high seismic activity.

Last week, the College of Engineers and Surveyors of Puerto Rico announced there are about 200,000 houses on the island constructed without building permits that could be susceptible to damage in a strong temblor.