Friuli Italy 1976 (CAR)

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Event ID
197605062000
Event name
Friuli
Country
Italy
Region in the country
Udine & Pordenone provinces
World region
Europe
Epicentral coordinates (long/lat)
POINT(13.27 46.38)
WKT GIS format
GEMECD contributing partner
CAR
Event narrative

On Thursday 6th May 1976, at 21:00 local time, an earthquake of moment magnitude 6.5 and focal depth of 21 km occurred in the Friuli region (northeastern Italy).

The earthquake’s epicentre (46.38°N, 13.27°E) was 20 km north of Friuli’s capital city of Udine (population 100,000), in the hilly rural area between the small towns of Buia, Gemona, not far from the borders with Austria and Slovenia.

The earthquake was preceded by a foreshock of M4.6 one minute earlier and took place during a particularly warm evening when most people in the region were out of doors.

An area of 4800 km2 embracing nearly 100 communes with a population of half a million was affected, with 18,000 dwellings (housing 32,000 people), large number of schools, town halls, churches and factories being destroyed.

In the USGS EXPO-CAT database it is estimated that during this earthquake 349,000 people were exposed to intensity VII or higher, of which around 34% were in rural areas.

Human casualties were 965 dead and 2400 injured.

Date of occurrence (UTC)
1976-05-06
date
Time of occurrence (UTC)
20:00:00
time
Date of occurrence (local)
1976-05-06
date
Time of occurrence (local)
21:00:00
time
Day of the week (local)
Thursday
Magnitude
6.5
Magnitude units
Moment (Mw)
Focal depth
20.9
km
Seismological data: source
USGS
Seismological data: comment

ShakeMap Atlas

Overall impact

Epicentral intensity was assessed at I0 = X (on the MSK intensity scale) for the triangular area enclosed by the villages of Trasaghis and Osoppo and the town of Gemona (where 2.6% of the combined population was killed). In Udine (intensity VI-VII) more than 50% of all the dwelling units were damaged.

Many aftershocks (especially those of May 9 and May 11 with magnitude 5.1 and 5.2 respectively) and heavy rains that set in from May 7 caused additional damage making the homes of another 157,000 people temporarily uninhabitable.

The region begun immediately a gradual process of recovery, but 4 months later, on September 11 and 15, four significant aftershocks of magnitude 5.4 to 6.0 caused additional damage and a combined 16 deaths and several more injuries.

The number of homeless which had decreased since May from 189,000 to 45,000 because of the repair of less badly damaged buildings, swelled again to more than 70,000. By April 1977 all the needed temporary housing units had been constructed and the homeless moved from coastal hotel rooms that were requisitioned during the winter. In total 70,000 people occupied these temporary housing units, dropping to 50,000 a year later.

The direct cost of this earthquake was estimated at 3.47 billion US$ (circa 2% of the GDP of Italy in 1976) and 1.28 billion US$ in indirect losses. The losses were further inflated by the September 1976 aftershocks.

Overview data
Loss: Human Casualty
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People injured
2400
number
People injured: source
Geipel, R. (1982). Disaster and Reconstruction: the Friuli (Italy) earthquakes of 1976. George Allen & Unwin Publishers, UK, 220 pp.
People injured: comment

In Utsu's catalogue 3700 people injured is mentioned.

People injured: status
Approximate

People seriously injured: status
N/A

People missing
0
number

People killed
965
number
People killed: source
Geipel, R. (1982). Disaster and Reconstruction: the Friuli (Italy) earthquakes of 1976. George Allen & Unwin Publishers, UK, 220 pp.
People killed: comment

Over 50% of the deaths occurred in the villages: Gemona del Friuli, Osoppo and Forgaria.
989 deaths is also often quoted.
The earthquake was preceded by a foreshock of ML=4.5 occurring just one minute before the main shock. Many people were outdoors at the time of occurrence as it was a warm evening.

People killed: status
Approximate

People killed due to ground shaking
965
number
People killed due to ground shaking: source
Geipel, R. (1982). Disaster and Reconstruction: the Friuli (Italy) earthquakes of 1976. George Allen & Unwin Publishers, UK, 220 pp.
People killed due to ground shaking: status
Approximate

Loss: Building damage
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Total number of buildings destroyed
6813
number
Total number of buildings destroyed: source
Molin, D. (1995). Considerations in the assessment of seismic intensity. Annali di Geofisica, XXXVIII:5-6, 805-810
Total number of buildings destroyed: comment

Number of buildings collapsed or to be demolished in the 8 worst affected municipalities, out of a total of 16,250 ispected buildings.

Total number of buildings destroyed: status
Greater than

Number of buildings damaged
69000
number
Number of buildings damaged: source
Goretti, A. and Di Pasquale, G. (2002). An overview of post-earthquake damage assessment in Italy. EERI invitational workshop, An action plan to develop earthquake damage and loss data protocols, Pasadena, California.
Number of buildings damaged: comment

The FRED database (Friuli earthquake damage database) contains 76,000 inspected buildings (incl. the destroyed buildings).

Number of buildings damaged: status
Less than

Number of dwellings destroyed
20880
number
Number of dwellings destroyed: source
Geipel, R. (1982). Disaster and Reconstruction: the Friuli (Italy) earthquakes of 1976. George Allen & Unwin Publishers, UK, 220 pp.
Number of dwellings destroyed: comment

939 people perished in the wreckage of 17,000 collapsing houses; the homes of 32,000 people were totally destroyed.

20,880 living units to be newly erected according to the reconstruction plan for the 95 worst affected communes (out of 113 affected communes).


Number of dwellings damaged
75000
number
Number of dwellings damaged: source
Riuscetti et al. (1997). Seismic vulnerability assessment of masonry buildings in a region of moderate seismicity. Annali di Geofisica, Vol. XL, No. 5, Oct. 1997, 1405-1413.
Loss: Socioeconomic
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People homeless
189000
number
People homeless: source
Geipel, R. (1982). Disaster and Reconstruction: the Friuli (Italy) earthquakes of 1976. George Allen & Unwin Publishers, UK, 220 pp.
People homeless: comment

189,000 homeless people at the peak of the crisis, as follows:

The homes of 32,000 people were totally destroyed, but many aftershocks and heavy rain pulverized the already badly damaged buildings still further, making the homes of another 157,000 people uninhabitable.

The number of homeless decreased by the beginning of September 1976 to 45,000 as most of the less badly damaged houses got repaired, but swelled again to more than 70,000 with the occurrence of the M6.1 aftershock on September 15, 1976.

By the end of 1976, 41,000 people lived in camping trailers, evacuation centres and tents, while another 25,000 lived in newly erected prefabricated houses, temporary shelters and railway cars.

Thus new housing had to be created for 66,000 people.


Direct economic loss
3471
million US$
Direct economic loss: source
Geipel, R. (1982). Disaster and Reconstruction: the Friuli (Italy) earthquakes of 1976. George Allen & Unwin Publishers, UK, 220 pp.
Direct economic loss: comment

From Table 3.4 in Geipel's book. 466 million US$ in direct losses to the productive sector, 2804 million US$ in damage toi dwellings, public installations and 201 million US$ in hydrogeologic damage.

Losses increased further (20-30%) after the Sept 11 & 15, 1976 aftershocks.


Indirect economic loss
1279
million US$
Indirect economic loss: source
Geipel, R. (1982). Disaster and Reconstruction: the Friuli (Italy) earthquakes of 1976. George Allen & Unwin Publishers, UK, 220 pp.
Indirect economic loss: comment

From Table 3.4 in Geipel's book. 1279 million US$ indirect losses to the productive sector.


Insured loss
1
million US$
Insured loss: source
Munich Re

Demographics
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Total number of buildings: status
N/A