Bucharest will evaluate no less than twenty thousand buildings in the six sectors of the Capital and protected areas. According to the City Mayor, all these buildings will undergo rapid seismic risk assessment. After this process, it will be determined how many of these buildings need expertise and then consolidation.
The map of these buildings is already ready, less than three months after the City Hall set out to start this process. This process follows the warning of the Bucharest Prefect, who said 1,000 buildings could collapse in the Romanian Capital if earthquakes strike.
Bucharest is one of the most vulnerable cities in Europe regarding earthquake damage and the most exposed European Capital to earthquakes. This is because Romania stands upon one of the most active tectonic areas, Vrancea.
When earthquakes strike in Vrancea, the seismic wave takes about 30 seconds to hit Bucharest.
One of the most damaging earthquakes in Romania occurred in 1977, on March 4th, when Bucharest faced an earthquake of 7,2, resulting in 1,424 deaths and wounding more than 11,300 people. Thirty-two high or medium-height buildings collapsed in the capital, and 32,900 homes were severely damaged nationwide, with about 200,000 people directly affected.
Experts notice a certain cyclicity of these killer earthquakes. They occur every 30-40 years. This cycle has passed long ago, and there is an anticipation of the next big earthquake in the country.
The plan is for the Capital City Hall to consolidate the buildings in the protected areas, the historical areas of Bucharest, such as the Old Town, and the six sector halls to rehabilitate the buildings outside these areas.