Effects of the earthquake: geographical distribution of the macroseismic intensity


Following the earthquakes that over the last ten days of May 2012 affected mainly the Provinces of Modena, Ferrara and Mantova, the Civil Protection Deparment commences a macroseismic survey in the morning of 20 May, with the purpose of identifying as soon as possible and homogenously the damaged areas.

The survey was carried out using the Mercalli-Cancani-Sieberg scale (MCS; Sieberg, 1930), following Molin's method (2003 and 2009), developed for specific purposed by the Civil Protection Department, and went on for many days, due to the extension of the areas and for the repetition of the shocks that, at least in one occasion (mainshock of 29 May, Mw 5,96), caused a worsening of the effects and, unfortunately, 19 victims in addition to the 7 of the first shock.

By attributing intensity degrees to built-up areas using the Mercalli-Cancani-Sieberg scale - that takes only partially into account the vulnerability of buildings - it was possible to provide evaluations on the damage level, useful for civil protection purposes and for emergency management.

During the interval between the 20 May mainshock and the 29 May one, teams of macroseismic measurement experts carried out observations in 52 places of 30 different municipalities. The survey was then repeated and extended after the second mainshock, up to 15 June 2012, including about 190 places of 87 municipalities distributed in 6 Provinces of Emilia Romagna, Lombardy and  Veneto, and, in particular, the ones of Modena (52 places, Ferrara (32), Bologna (22), Reggio Emilia (14), Mantova (53) and Rovigo (11). 

The list of municipalities of the study has no correlation with the municipalities hit by the quake that will receive benefits according to law decree 74 of 6 June 2012 and to the attachment I of the 1 June 2012 decree of the Ministry of Economy and Finance.