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ES 20:SI (Jul 2004) 2002 Molise, Italy, Earthquake Reconnaissance Report

Paolo Bazzurro and Joe Maffei, tech. eds. On October 31 and November 1, 2002, two magnitude Mw 5.7 earthquakes struck the rural Molise region in southeastern Italy killing 30 people, 27 of whom were children trapped in the collapse of an elementary school. This issue covers the findings of ongoing studies of the technical and social lessons afforded by the disaster. In 1998 the area was declared a medium seismicity zone, but an administrative delay in updating the seismic zonation meant that up until the time of the earthquake, there were no seismic requirements for new construction including a 2002 second-story addition to the school that collapsed. In many cases newer buildings were more heavily damaged than the historic structures, partly because of ground motion amplification. The emergency response and recovery planning following the earthquake were notable for the technical sophistication and abundant government resources that have been applied, including the building of a prefabricated temporary village.

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