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Observations from the 26th November 2019 Albania earthquake: the earthquake engineering field investigation team (EEFIT) mission

Freddi, Fabio, Novelli, Viviana, Gentile, Roberto, Veliu, Enes, Andreev, Stoyan, Andonov, Anton, Greco, Federica and Zhuleku, Emiljano 2021. Observations from the 26th November 2019 Albania earthquake: the earthquake engineering field investigation team (EEFIT) mission. Bulletin of Earthquake Engineering 19 , pp. 2013-2044. 10.1007/s10518-021-01062-8

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On the 26th of November 2019, an earthquake of moment magnitude 6.4 struck the northwest region of Albania as the result of thrust faulting near the convergent boundary of the Africa and Eurasia plates causing widespread damage to buildings in the city of Durrës and the surrounding areas. Based on the official data from the national authorities, the earthquake caused 51 casualties and 985 million-euro losses, corresponding to 7.5% of the 2018 gross domestic product. This paper summarises field observations made by the Earthquake Engineering Field Investigation Team (EEFIT) after the event. The paper presents an overview of the seismological aspects of the earthquake together with a brief overview of the damage, official loss statistics and the estimated macro- and socio-economic consequences of the event. In addition, it provides a summary of the observed damage to both recent and historical buildings as well as the description of several case studies to illustrate the characteristic damage patterns observed in the main structural typologies of the Albanian building stock. These observations try to identify possible links between the observed damage patterns and the deficiencies in construction practice and use of inappropriate retrofit techniques for historical assets. As many severe damages were observed on modern buildings, this also allows the identification of some gaps and possible areas of development of the current seismic design code. In the end, the lessons learned from the field survey are resumed.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Engineering
Additional Information: A correction to this article was published on 13 April 2021 at The ORCA record for the correction is at
Publisher: Springer Verlag (Germany)
ISSN: 1570-761X
Date of Acceptance: 10 February 2021
Last Modified: 07 May 2021 12:49

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