Natural Hazards

, Volume 44, Issue 1, pp 147–161 | Cite as

Patterns and trends in the perception of seismic risk. Case study: Bucharest Municipality/Romania

  • Iuliana Armaş
  • Eugen Avram
Original Paper


This research looks at the very nature of perception of seismic risk, an issue that is not only academically important, but also it can save lives and reduce injury and community costs. The background idea is that citizens in big cities, vulnerable to seismic hazard are living with latent and permanent concerns about a possible earthquake. We were interested in revealing significant aspects of Bucharest citizens’ orientations and tendencies in relation to the possible seismic event. Bucharest, the capital of Romania, is exposed to the greatest seismic hazard compared with other European capitals. The dimensions of study were: the anticipations of seism occurrence, the behavior during the event, evaluations of consequences, support factors, and individual vulnerability. This article is an example of the low cost approach on a sample of 190 citizens, understood as an exercise in attempting to relate population characteristics to various aspects of risk perception. The methodology used was based on a field investigation, where the research agents’ applied one questionnaire containing free/post codified/fan answers concerning: demographic variables, the buildings’ features, and perceptions about the possible earthquake event. The findings of this study showed that the hazard perception significantly associates with aspects concerning the subjects’ orientation toward institutional factors/human relations/negativism, and toward financial/material/moral support in case of disaster etc. It is hoped that this issue will serve to inspire further investigations into this very important and socially sensitive field, due to the fact that hazard analysis and mitigation would be more effective when it takes into account the human dimension of disasters.


Bucharest city Earthquake perception Trends in the seismic risk perception 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of GeographyUniversity of BucharestBucharestRomania

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