Roermond Netherlands 1992 (CAR)

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Event ID
199204130120
Event name
Roermond
Country
Netherlands
Region in the country
Roermond, Herkenbosch
World region
Europe
Epicentral coordinates (long/lat)
POINT(5.93 51.15)
WKT GIS format
GEMECD contributing partner
CAR
Event narrative

On Monday 13th April 1992, at 03:20 local time, an earthquake of moment magnitude 5.4 and focal depth of 15 km struck the Roer River Valley on the southern border region between the Netherlands and Germany.

Seismicity in the Netherlands is mainly confined to active faults in the south of the country. These faults are part of the Roer Valley Rift System, the north-western extension of the Rhine rift system in Germany.

The main shock’s epicentre (51.15°N, 5.93°E) was very near the town of Roermond in the Netherlands inhabited by 43,000 people and ground shaking was felt over an area larger than 600,000 km2 between the Czech republic, Switzerland, France and England.

This was the strongest seismic event in the Netherlands in 100 years. Its maximum observed intensity, was I0 = VII. In the USGS EXPO-CAT database it is estimated that during this earthquake 91,000 people were exposed to intensity VII, of which around 35% were in rural areas.

A 79-year-old woman in Bonn died of a heart attack apparently brought on by the tremor and 45 people were reported injured (mostly due to falling debris as they were evacuating buildings). Had the earthquake taken place during the day-time the number of casualties would have been far greater.

Date of occurrence (UTC)
1992-04-13
date
Time of occurrence (UTC)
01:20:00
time
Date of occurrence (local)
1992-04-13
date
Time of occurrence (local)
03:20:00
time
Day of the week (local)
Monday
Magnitude
5.4
Magnitude units
Moment (Mw)
Focal depth
15
km
Seismological data: source
USGS
Seismological data: comment

ShakeMap Atlas

Overall impact

Damage was light to moderate with unreinforced brick masonry buildings constructed prior to 1920 suffering a greater rate of damage.

Worst affected was the small town of Herkenbosch in Limbourg province, Netherlands (population 4,000), where a medieval church appeared near collapse.

According to a survey carried-out by the EEFIT team in 38 towns and villages in the affected region (excl. Herkenbosch), the worst damage was observed in Oserbruch, about 4 km east of Heinsberg, Germany. In an area of 10 km around Heinsberg more than 30% of the old masonry buildings had been damaged, though not severely. In Holland's Roermond town many historic buildings were damaged.

The earthquake caused significant damage to Heinsberg, a German town of 36,000 near the border with Holland. A police spokesman said 21 people were injured by falling debris, four of them seriously, and about 150 buildings were damaged. A 400-kilogram piece of stone fell through the roof of the 13th century cathedral in Cologne.

In total fewer than 100 buildings were badly damaged and would probably have to be rebuilt, while around 1300 buildings had light to moderate damage.

The total cost of the earthquake in Holland and Germany was estimated by Munich Re at 206 million US$ including around 30 million US$ insured damage. Damage in Holland was estimated to cost 127 million €.

Overview data
Loss: Human Casualty
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People injured
45
number
People injured: source
http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eqarchives/significant/sig_1992.php
People injured: comment

21 people injured in Heinsberg (Germany) of which 4 seriously


People seriously injured
4
number
People seriously injured: source
http://www.nytimes.com/1992/04/14/news/14iht-quak.html
People seriously injured: comment

4 people seriously injured in Heinsberg (Germany).

People seriously injured: status
Greater than

People missing
0
number

People killed
1
number
People killed: source
http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eqarchives/significant/sig_1992.php
People killed: comment

A case of heart attack in Bonn (Germany)


People dying post catastrophe
0
number

People missing due to ground shaking
0
number

People killed due to ground shaking
1
number
People killed due to ground shaking: source
http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eqarchives/significant/sig_1992.php

People dying post catastrophe due to shaking
0
number

People missing due to tsunami
0
number
People killed due to tsunami
0
number
People missing due to fire following
0
number
People killed due to fire following
0
number
People missing due to slope failures
0
number
People killed due to slope failures
0
number
Loss: Building damage
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Total number of buildings destroyed by shaking
100
number
Total number of buildings destroyed by shaking: source
Maurenbrecher and de Vries (1995). Assessing damage for Herkenbosch, The Netherlands, due to the Roermond earthquake of April 13, 1992 in Transactions on the Built Environment vol 14, p. 397-404 & http://www.spiegel.de/spiegel/print/d-13688075.html
Total number of buildings destroyed by shaking: comment

Source 1: Around 75 buildings in Herkenbosch (Holland) were seriously damaged, as they had four types of damage (damage to front and rear walls, damage to the gable wall and damage to side walls. Not mentioned if any of these buildings would have to be demolished.
Source 2: Among 150 damaged buildings in Heinsberg (Germany) some were in acute danger of collapse.

Total number of buildings destroyed by shaking: status
Less than

Number of buildings damaged by shaking
1300
number
Number of buildings damaged by shaking: source
Maurenbrecher and de Vries (1995). Assessing damage for Herkenbosch, The Netherlands, due to the Roermond earthquake of April 13, 1992 in Transactions on the Built Environment vol 14, p. 397-404 & http://www.spiegel.de/spiegel/print/d-13688075.html
Number of buildings damaged by shaking: comment

Excl. the less than 100 buildings estimated to have been damaged beyond repair.
Around 500 buildings damaged in Herkenbosch (Holland), 150 buildings damaged in Heinsberg (Germany), 722 buildings with damage level D1 (615), D2 (102) and D3 (5) in the surveys by Pappin el al (1993) - see damage study.

Number of buildings damaged by shaking: status
Approximate

Number of dwellings destroyed by shaking: status
N/A

Number of dwellings damaged by shaking: status
N/A

Loss: Socioeconomic
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People homeless
200
number
People homeless: source
GEMECD estimate
People homeless: comment

Estimated number of people living in houses that would have to be demolished based on the damage statistics.

People homeless: status
Approximate

Direct economic loss
176
million US$
Direct economic loss: source
Munich Re
Direct economic loss: comment

120 million US$ in Germany
50 million US$ in the Netherlands
6 million US$ in Belgium
Excl. insured losses in Germany.


Indirect economic loss: status
N/A

Insured loss
30
million US$
Insured loss: source
Munich Re
Insured loss: comment

Insured loss reported in Germany. Netherlands and Belgium insured losses not known.


Demographics
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Total number of buildings: status
N/A