Overview of damage to housing after the August 24, 2016 Amatrice, Italy Earthquake

August 30, 2016  
Filed under Housing

By Ezra Jampole and Sahar Derakhshan

At 3:30 AM local time on August 24, 2016 the M6.2 Amatrice, Italy Earthquake hit the center of the nation. The towns of Accumoli, Amatrice, Pescara del Tronto, and Arquata del Tronto were badly affected [BBC]. Over 290 people were killed, the majority in Amatrice, and several hundred people were wounded.

004_shaking intensity map from usgs

Shaking intensity. Source: USGS.

No one was permitted to sleep in Amatrice the night after the earthquake for fear of aftershocks and collapse of more buildings [CNN]. At least 2500 people were left homeless after the earthquake [The Guardian], a modest quantity compared to the 55,000 who were left homeless after the M6.3 L’Aquila Earthquake in Italy in 2009 [New York Times], of which 9000 still live in temporary housing [The Guardian]. Tent camps have been established outside of cities, but many people prefer sleeping in their cars close to their homes for fear of looters [BBC].

Significant damage and a large number of collapses have occurred in masonry structures, many built hundreds of years ago [New York Times] [Reuters]. The majority of the fatalities are believed to have been in unreinforced stone homes from medieval times [Los Angeles Times]. New anti-seismic laws have been put in place after each major earthquake in Italy (1997, 2009, etc.) but they apply only to new construction, thus little has been done to reinforce existing buildings [New York Times]. No building collapses have been reported in Norcia thus far, which poured significant resources into retrofits after the 1997 earthquake [LA Times].

021 overhead of Amatrice - new areas look unscathed

Amatrice after the earthquake. Source: Gregorio Borgia / AP.

006_Amatrice bird's eye view

Historic section of Amatrice after the earthquake. Source: CNN.

Italy plans to build wooden chalet-style huts for displaced persons near their damaged homes within three months, before the cold winter begins [BBC]. Huts will be one to two bedrooms with initial cost estimates of $1,546 per square meter. Hotel rooms will be provided to displaced residents if wooden construction is not complete before the winter.



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