EEFIT Return Mission to the L'Aquila Earthquake of 2009


On the 6th April 2009 at 3:32am local time, a 6.2 MWearthquake hit the Abruzzo region of Italy. The epicentre of the earthquake was located 3.4 km SW of Aquila, the administrative capital of the region of Abruzzo. Aquila had a population of more than 72,800, and was devastated by the earthquake. The earthquake intensity reached IX EMS-98 in the proximity of Aquila. In total the earthquake killed 308 people, injured over 1,500 people and approximately 67,500 people were left homeless. The close proximity of the causative fault to the town of Aquila caused near total collapse of historical masonry buildings in its town centre, including the town hall, the national museum of Abruzzo, and many major historic churches including that of San Bernardino. The earthquake also severely affected reinforced concrete structures of more modern construction. The affected buildings are representative of construction types in many European countries. This earthquake is therefore of particular interest to the UK earthquake engineering community.

Four years on, many people are still living in temporary housing and much of the centre of L’Aquila city is still not repaired or rebuilt, although the process of rebuilding has begun in the outskirts of the town.

In November 2012, EEFIT decided to launch a return mission to the areas affected by the L’Aquila Earthquake. The first ever return mission to be carried out by EEFIT, the mission had the objectives to:

  1. Report on recovery and reconstruction from technical, planning and social perspectives.
  2. Train inexperienced members of EEFIT in post-earthquake surveys.
  3. Test field data capture tools feeding into GEM and the development of a new International Macro-Seismic Intensity scale, for their viability in post-earthquake damage surveys.
  4. Assess the value of return missions.

This seminar presents an overview of the Team’s findings, including observations on the shoring of structures, the adopted reconstruction process, common repair and strengthening techniques, transitional housing (C.A.S.E. and M.A.P. projects) and societal impact.

Further information

This evening meeting is organised by EEFIT, SECED and IStructE. Non-members of these organisations are welcome to attend. The meeting is chaired by Dr John Alarcon (EEFIT Vice-Chairman, Willis Re). Attendance at this meeting is free. To secure your place, register via the IStructE on-line booking system. Tea and biscuits will be served from 5.30pm - 6pm. For further information please contact Berenice Chan, EEFIT Secretary, at the IStructE on telephone 020 7201 9125, or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Event Details

Event Date 25/03/2013 5:30 pm
Institution of Structural Engineers
47-58 Bastwick Street
Institution of Structural Engineers

Location Map

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