Mitigation planning for earthquakes in Greece
Topic of the practice
Good Practice Information
Although earthquakes can’t be predicted, the number of casualties and the caused damage to properties can still be minimized if proper spatial planning and regulations concerning constructions are implemented. Moreover, informing people about earthquake risk and taking an appropriate emergency response can have very positive results. Earthquake risk reduction is an indispensable investment for every earthquake-prone city and region. Since Greece is the first country in Europe and sixth worldwide in seismic activity, the implementation of an antiseismic policy is of great importance for the country. Some of the lessons learnt from the processes of setting plans for earthquakes and managing the caused impact are the following:
*Scientific research is of outstanding importance for the creation of an efficient mitigation policy for earthquakes and should be taken into consideration when drafting the
*Emphasis should be given to public awareness. Special campaigns for students are needed in order to create a “culture of proper actions” for earthquakes.
*Panic can cause more casualties than the earthquake itself. People in areas with high seismic activity must learn to live with earthquakes and stay calm when an earthquake occurs.
*Inspections of buildings after earthquakes are not enough. Methods for preventive inspections should be established. Local authorities should have a detailed emergency plan since they bear the main burden of the problems caused by an earthquake, at least during the first hours.
Evidence of success
The creation of the Organization for Antiseismic Planning and Protection lead to a number of successful results. The organization has contributed to public awareness through campaigns and leaflets (learn about earthquakes and protection measures, preventive measures for antiseismic protection at your house etc.) Publishing of technical handbooks (risk elements removal, temporal support and propping, search & rescue operations in earthquake etc.) Creation of regulations (Greek regulation for reinforced concrete, Greek antiseismic regulation including updates etc.). The antiseismic regulation is of outstanding importance since it is the legal text that includes the rules that specify the minimum requirements for antiseismic constructions. Promoting the scientific research on antiseismic protection through the participation of the organization in various programs (SNAP, STRIM, IDIRA ETC.)
Contact details to obtain further information on the practice
Region of Epirus
Annex completed on: 09-25-2012