Vrancea area Romania 1990 (CAR)
On Wednesday 30th May 1990, at 13:40 local time, an earthquake of moment magnitude 7.0 and focal depth of 89 km occurred in Romania.
The earthquake was felt (intensity IV) in Kiev, Lvov and Uzhgorod (Ukraine) but also further away in Moscow, Rostov and Sochi (Russia).
The earthquake’s epicentre (45.83°N, 26.64°E) was in the Vrancea seismogenic source, in the Carpathian Mountains curvature. An aftershock of moment magnitude 6.4 and focal depth of 79 km occurred just over 14 hours later (on May 31, 1990).
In the USGS EXPO-CAT database it is estimated that during this earthquake 355,000 people were exposed to intensity VII, of which around 61% were in rural areas.
Shake Map Atlas
This intermediate depth earthquake caused moderate damage (MSK intensity VII) in a region enclosed between the cities of Iaşi (North), Câmpina (West), Bucharest (South) and Galaţi-Brăila (East). Epicentral intensity was assessed at I0 = VIII (on the MSK scale) in an area around the town of Focşani.
In total the earthquake caused 14 deaths (9 in Romania, 4 in Moldova Republic and 1 due to heart attack in Bulgaria) and around 350 injuries, including some in the Republic of Moldova. 75 people were seriously injured and (or) had to be hospitalized. Two of the deaths occurred in Bucharest in the district of Colentina, when the heavy plasterboard of an 11-storey apartment block collapsed along the expansion joint, due to pounding between the two separate parts of the structure. In Colentina and other parts of Bucharest but also closer to the epicentral area (in Buzău, Ploieşti), this type of damage was very common.
The earthquake occurred at a time of political upheaval in Romania that followed the revolution that resulted in the overthrow of the Ceauşescu regime in December 1989, as political struggle was taking place immediately after Romania’s first elections of May 20, 1990. As a result relatively little in known as to the overall effects of the earthquake on buildings, the direct and indirect economic losses, people rendered homeless etc.
A reconnaissance mission was launched by EEFIT in June 14-21, 1990 and is the main source of information on the consequences in the international literature (damage surveys were carried out in the vicinity of the strong motion observation stations in Buzău, Focşani and Vălenii de Munte while further investigations were carried out around the stations in the town of Ploieşti and in Mirinescu street (Bucharest)).
During this event and its aftershock there were no major building collapses and damage to civil engineering works was not extensive. Damage to industrial facilities was more common but no major collapse incidents were reported.
At least 38 strong motion records were obtained by Romania's Building Research Institute (INCERC) during the main shock and about 20 during the aftershock. In 5 stations the recorded PGA exceeded 20%g (maximum in Câmpina, 26%g), 6 stations recorded PGA of 17%g, 4 stations recorded 14%g, and 7 stations between 10 and 12%g. The remaining 7 stations recorded 4 to 9%g. Many of these instruments were located in the basements of multi-storey RC buildings. In Bucharest PGA between 7 and 14%g was recorded during the main shock and 2 to 4%g during the aftershock.
Economic losses have been reported by Munich Re to be in the region of 30 million US$. There were no significant insured losses.
early reports talked of more than 700 injured
9 killed in Romania, 4 in Moldova Republic and 1 death due to heart attack in Bulgaria
No buildings collapsed in this earthquake.
16 million US$ in Romania
2 million US$ in Bulgaria
2 million US$ in Moldova
It excludes insured losses in Romania.
24 million US$ insured losses in Romania.
No insured losses in Bulgaria and Moldova Republic.