EERI is actively responding to the November 26 M6.4 Durres, Albania Earthquake. The Learning From Earthquakes (LFE) Executive Committee met on December 1 to determine EERI’s response. Based on information provided in the Virtual Earthquake Reconnaissance Team (VERT) report and by other members in the field, the LFE committee decided that EERI is best positioned to serve in a coordination role for this earthquake.
EERI has been in close contact with several colleagues who have conducted or will conduct reconnaissance. We coordinated a call on December 10 to provide an opportunity for teams to share observations and discuss plans. EERI will be developing a joint report on the earthquake with contributions from those in the field. EERI has established an earthquake page on the LFE website where several reports are posted.
Preliminary observations from the reports include:
- The most common building damage pattern observed was shear “X” cracking and out-of-plane failure of hollow clay tile nonstructural walls. This type of damage was especially common in taller (8 to 12 story) buildings, but it was also exhibited in shorter (2 to 7 story) buildings. This type of building has been built in Albania since 1990, and many of the buildings were built in the last few years. Code enforcement in design and construction was limited during the period in which many of these buildings were constructed. It is a common building type in Albania. (personal observations from Chiara McKenney,M.EERI,2011)
- Sand boils and liquefied material were observed near the sites of collapsed buildings in the coastal area of Durres. (Newsletter of Environmental, Disaster, and Crisis Management Strategies)
- Several collapsed reinforced concrete buildings were observed. Most contained irregularities including soft stories, torsional irregularities, or discontinuous columns that may have contributed to collapse. (personal observations from Chiara McKenney,M.EERI,2011)
More information about the earthquake impacts can be found in the reports available on the LFE website:
- EERI Virtual Earthquake Reconnaissance Team (VERT): Phase 1 Response to M6.4 Albania Earthquake November 26, 2019. By Mohammad Alam, Yolanda Alberto, Chrysl Aranha, Guillermo Diaz-Fanas, Wilfrid Djima, Mikael Gartner, Wael Hassan, Brisid Isufi, Maha Kenawy, Edwin Lim, Sissy Nikolaou,Tona Rodriguez-Nikl, Mehmet Unal, Hartanto Wibowo, David Yoo, Erica Fischer, and Manny Hakhamaneshi.
- The November 26, 2019 Mw 6.4 Durrës (Albania) earthquake. By Professor Efthymis Lekkas, PhD c. Spyridon Mavroulis, PhD c. Dimitri Papa, and Em. Professor Panayotis Carydis
- Reconnaissance Observations from Chiara McKenney, P.E. Photo Album. Photo Map.
Earlier this year, EERI launched a landmark campaign to raise $4 million for a Learning from Earthquakes Endowment Fund to help us ensure the existence, innovation, and impact of LFE for years to come. Learn more about how you can support EERI’s great work in response to this and other important earthquakes.