wo earthquakes struck the NW region of Albanian territory on 21 September 2019 (Mw = 5.6) and on 26 November 2019 (Mw = 6.4). The epicenters of the seismic activity were located offshore NW Durrës, one of Albania’s most populated cities, located 30 km from the capital Tirana. Various aftershocks followed subsequently. While there were no reported injuries, a number of buildings sustained significant damage near the epicenter following the initial event. Subsequently, during the second event, there was loss of life and extensive damage to civilian structures, resulting in multiple collapses. This study focuses on the earthquake damages observed in residential and public buildings in the earthquake-affected region. The earthquakes predominantly affected low-rise masonry buildings, while the newly constructed RC structures built according to the latest seismic rules were almost unaffected. The commonly encountered building typologies in the region, together with photos showing the amount of destruction are presented here. As observed by the authors during the reconnaissance visit to the stricken area, examples of various damage patterns are presented, along with a technically substantiated description of the reasons for those damages. Although modern buildings during recent earthquakes in the region show acceptable performance, the detailed surveys from the Durrës Earthquakes showed that there is still an important level of deficiency in current masonry buildings built by conventional methods and materials. This problem may reoccur in future earthquakes that may hit other rural regions of Albania, which must be focused on systematically in the near future.


No Posts