Assessment of Structural Damage Following the October 30, 2020 Aegean Sea Earthquake and Tsunami


JOURNAL OF EARTHQUAKE AND TSUNAMI, vol.15, no.06, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 15 Issue: 06
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1142/s1793431121500299
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, Geobase
  • Keywords: Aegean sea, collapse, damage, earthquake, masonry structures, reinforced concrete building, Turkish earthquake codes, tsunami, REINFORCED-CONCRETE BUILDINGS, HAZARDS, PERFORMANCE, TURKEY, COAST
  • Karadeniz Technical University Affiliated: Yes


The strong shallow earthquake with a moment magnitude (Mw) range between 6.6 and 7.0 according to different sources (AFAD, KOERI and USGS) took place at local time 14:51 on 30th October 2020, in Aegean Sea near Samos Island. According to the data given from Earthquake Department of the Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD), the epicenter of the earthquake is 27.17 km far away from the Izmir coast and the duration of the earthquake that occurred in 14.9 km deep of the ground is 15.68s. The main shock of the earthquake brought about a small local tsunami that struck especially Seferihisar district in Izmir and Vathi in Samos. The main shock was followed by more than 5799 aftershocks with magnitudes varying between 0.7 and 5.1 in 62 days. Turkey, Greece and the islands in Aegean Sea felt the earthquake but it caused heavy damage and casualties at Bayrakli location in the city center of Izmir due to ground effects and structural problems. According to the data released after the field investigations made by the Turkish Ministry of Environment and Urbanization in the regions affected by the earthquake, 103 buildings collapsed and urgently demolished, 700 were severely damaged, 814 were moderately damaged, 7889 were slightly damaged and 159,000 were undamaged. The earthquake and tsunami resulted in 117 deaths and 1632 injured in Turkey, whereas two deaths and several injured in Samos, despite the distance between the epicenter and Turkey coast being more than Samos Island. One of these deaths occurred as a result of the tsunami and according to official sources; it was recorded as the first person to die from a tsunami in Turkey. This study aims to examine the damage and collapses that occurred on the structures due to the earthquake and the tsunami. The types and causes of damage that occurred on both reinforced concrete (RC) and masonry structures were evaluated in detail with taking into account the conditions of the existing Turkish Building Earthquake Design Code, [TBEC, [2018] Turkish Building Earthquake Design Code. Specifications for Structures to be Built in Disaster Areas (Earthquake Department of the Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency, Ankara, Turkey).] and previous Turkish Earthquake Codes (TECs).