6th April 2009 L'Aquila earthquake, Italy: Reinforced concrete building performance

Paolo Ricci, Flavia de Luca*, Gerardo Mario Verderame

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

186 Citations (Scopus)
548 Downloads (Pure)


On 6th April 2009 an earthquake of magnitude Mw = 6.3 occurred in the Abruzzo region; the epicentre was very close to the city of L'Aquila (about 6 km away). The event produced casualties and damage to buildings, lifelines and other infrastructures. An analysis of the main damage that reinforced concrete (RC) structures showed after the event is presented in this study. In order to isolate the main causes of structural and non-structural damage, the seismological characteristics of the event are examined, followed by an analysis of the existing RC building stock in the area. The latter issue came under scrutiny after the release of official data about structural types and times of construction, combined with a detailed review of the most important seismic codes in force in the last 100 years in Italy. Comparison of the current design provisions of the Italian and European codes with previous standards allows the main weaknesses of the existing building stock to be determined. Damage to structural and non-structural elements is finally analyzed thanks to photographic material collected in the first week after the event; the main causes of damage are then inferred.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)285-305
Number of pages21
JournalBulletin of Earthquake Engineering
Issue number1
Early online date1 Sep 2010
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2011


  • Brittle failure
  • Damage survey
  • Infill
  • L'Aquila
  • Old seismic design
  • RC building


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