1 1978 Earthquake | 40 Year Commemoration

1978-2018 COMMEMORATION

40 years since the M6.6 Thessaloniki Earthquake (20 June, 1978)

The M6.6 Thessaloniki Earthquake occurred on Tuesday, 20th of June 1978 at 23:03 local time with an epicenter 35 kilometers east-northeast of the city, between the lakes Koronia and Volvi. The earthquake, which was registered 6.6 on the moment magnitude scale, with a focal depth of 16 kilometers and duration of 15 seconds, was felt throughout Northern Greece, former Yugoslavia and Bulgaria.

It was the first contemporary earthquake that hit a big urban center in Greece and was considered the largest seismic activity in the area since 1932.

The earthquake cased the death of 50 people in total, most of which (39) were residents of an eight-storey building that collapsed in the historical centre of the city. Another 220 people were injured, while thousands became homeless in the entire broader area of Thessaloniki.

Direct physical damage reached the total of 1,2 billion euros.

A total number of 3.170 (4,5%) buildings were identified with severe damages (tagged as red), 13.918 (21,0%) with medium damages (yellow) and 49.071 (74,5%) with no damage (green).

Apart from the extensive damage caused, the Thessaloniki Earthquake caused indelible memories to city inhabitants. The chaos of the first moments was succeeded by the concern of potential aftershocks and a perception that the crisis was beyond the abilities of the state of that time. In these circumstances, the School of Engineering and in particular the Department of Civil Engineering of Aristotle University in Thessaloniki, was called upon to offer its services to the community, significantly contributing to a successful management of the post-earthquake recovery and the return of the city to its ordinary rhythm.

The Thessaloniki Earthquake also triggered the important progress made in the following years and is an important milestone in the Earthquake Engineering research and education advancement. As the 16th European Conference on Earthquake Engineering in 2018 coincides with the 40th anniversary of the Thessaloniki Earthquake, the conference itself is deemed the optimal way to commemorate the event. At the same time, this scientific and technical event can promote parallel activities based on the city’s collective memory, such as thematic exhibitions, special issues and workshops, newspaper archives, audio and video documentation, informative campaigns on earthquake preparedness involving local institutions, organizations, citizens and the community. 

ORGANISERS

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CONTACT

For any further questions regarding the 16ECEE please contact.

T. +30 2310 433099
F. +30 2310 433599

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