Earthquakes and Cultural Heritage: the STOP vademecum to help first responders limiting damages to buildings

Earthquakes pose a big threat to cultural and heritage buildings.
Normally, historic buildings are more vulnerable to seismic actions than ordinary ones. So, also the artifacts that such buildings normally protect are subject to damages, due to the debris and, sometimes, to fires ignited by earthquakes.

In the April 6th 2009 earthquake in Aquila (Italy), there is at least one recorded case of fire ignited by the earthquake in a historical building (a church in the center of Aquila old town). The most of the damages to cultural heritage in the Aquila earthquake are due to the collapse of the buildings and, for a lesser extent, to the mud that rains have brought the days following the earthquake.

 

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Real shoring in Aquila

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3D Scanning and Emergency Management of Cultural Heritage Buildings after Earthquakes: the St. Francis of Assisi Integrated System

3D scanning of the three levels of the St. Francis of Assisi Basilica (Assisi, Italy) -courtesy of Prof.  Fabio Garzia РLa Sapienza University, Rome (Italy).

One of the main problems of emergency management in case of damage reported by historic buildings after an earthquake is represented by immediate damage assessment. In fact, nowadays it is not possible to use techniques other than the personal evaluation carried out by first responders.

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