Deterministic earthquake damage and loss assessment for the city of Bucharest, Romania

Author(s):

Lang, D.H., Molina, S., Lindholm, C.D., and Balan, S.

Year:2012
Type:Journal
Reference:Journal of Seismology 16(1): 67–88
ISBN / DOI:DOI: 10.1007/s10950-011-9250-y

On March 4, 1977, an earthquake with a moment magnitude Mw 7.4 at a hypocentral depth of 94 km hit the Vrancea region (Romania). In Bucharest alone, the earthquake caused severe damage to 33,000 buildings while 1,424 people were killed. Under the umbrella of the SAFER project, the city of Bucharest, being one of the larger European cities at risk, was chosen as a test bed for the estimation of damage and connected losses in case of a future large magnitude earthquake in the Vrancea area. For the conduct of these purely deterministic damage and loss computations, the open-source software SELENA is applied. In order to represent a large event in the Vrancea region, a set of deterministic scenarios were defined by combining ranges of focal parameters, i.e., magnitude, focal depth, and epicentral location. Ground motion values are computed by consideration of different ground motion prediction equations that

are believed to represent earthquake attenuation effects in the region. Variations in damage and loss estimates are investigated through considering different sets of building vulnerability curves (provided by HAZUS-MH and various European authors) to characterize the damaging behavior of prevalent building typologies in the city of Bucharest.