Bulletin of Earthquake Engineering

, Volume 16, Issue 10, pp 4607–4637 | Cite as

Preliminary prediction of damage to residential buildings following the 21st August 2017 Ischia earthquake

  • Carlo Del Gaudio
  • Mariano Di Domenico
  • Paolo Ricci
  • Gerardo Mario Verderame
Original Research Paper


On August 21st, 2017, an earthquake with duration magnitude Md = 4.0 and epicentre in Casamicciola Terme hit Ischia island, in the South of Italy. This event caused two fatalities and dozens of injured people. Moreover, despite the low magnitude, the earthquake produced significant damages to masonry and reinforced concrete (RC) buildings, with some partial or complete collapse of structures, in a very limited area close to the epicentre, while even at small distance from the most damaged zone the earthquake was just felt by local people and tourists. In the days after the event, discussions concerning the destructive effects of such an earthquake arose in the scientific community—as also reported by local and national media. In this paper, the seismic history of Ischia island is recalled to show and explain the peculiarity of the August 21st earthquake, which is also described in terms of ground motion and response spectra characteristics. The results of the first surveys carried out in Casamicciola Terme are reported, together with appropriate pictures, to introduce and explain the observed damage state of masonry and RC buildings in the epicentral zone. Then, data from the 15th general census of the population and dwellings (ISTAT) is used to define vulnerability classes according to the classification of the European Macrosismic Scale (EMS-98) (Grünthal, 1998). Seismic damage scenarios are then evaluated combining macro-seismic intensity values obtained using an interpolation method starting from QUEST macro-seismic survey data (Azzaro et al., 2017 ) and fragility curves for A-to-D vulnerability classes and for five damage states, from DS0 (no damage) to DS5 (collapse) trough a Monte Carlo simulation technique. The distributions of Usable, Temporarily or Partially Unusable, and Unusable buildings, which are obtained by using relationships between damage and usability judgments obtained through post-earthquake damage data collected after past seismic events, result in very good accordance with those published in September 1st, 2017 by the Department of Civil Protection, regarding a dataset of about 600 buildings.


2017 Ischia earthquake Damage Macrosesmic Census data Usability 



This work was developed under the financial support of “ReLUIS-DPC 2014–2018—Linea Cemento Armato” (Grant No. E56D16000670005), funded by the Italian Department of Civil Protection (DPC). This support is gratefully acknowledged.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Structures for Engineering and ArchitectureUniversity of Naples Federico IINaplesItaly

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