Greek Site: Athens

The Greek pilot area refers to the mostly urbanized municipalities of the western part of the Metropolitan area of Athens, capital city of Greece. This area was hit by strong earthquake events in the past, the most severe one being the Athens earthquake which occurred on September 7, 1999. This was a moderate (Mw=5.9) normal faulting earthquake with its epicenter located at the northwest part of the study area. About 100 buildings collapsed, causing 143 casualties, while another 800 injured. Search and rescue operations were conducted in more than 25 different locations. About 13,000 buildings were damaged beyond repair. During the first days after the shock about 100,000 people rendered homeless. More than 50 municipalities were affected, while the tangible loss caused is roughly estimated equal to about $3b US, value at year of 2000. From the point of view of economic loss it is the worst natural disaster reported in the modern history of Greece. However, it is worth noting that the surrounding areas are also of high seismicity, given that strong, destructive earthquakes occurred in Thiva (1914), in Oropos (1938) and in the Alkyonides at the East of the Gulf of Corinth (1981).

Epicentres of fore- and after-shocks as well as the location of the main shock (source :
Italian Site: L' Aquila

The Italian pilot site refers to the region of Abruzzo in central Italy where a major destructive earthquake took place in 2009. The main shock occurred at 3:32 local time (1:32 UTC) on 6 April 2009, and was rated 5.8 on the Richter scale and 6.3 on the moment magnitude scale; its epicentre was near L'Aquila, the capital of Abruzzo, which together with surrounding villages suffered most damage. There have been several thousand foreshocks and aftershocks since December 2008, more than thirty of which had a Richter magnitude greater than 3.5. 308 people are known to have died, 1,000 injured, 40,000 homeless and 10,000 buildings damaged or destroyed in the L'Aquila area. The earthquake has been felt throughout central Italy. This earthquake was caused by movement on a NW-SE trending normal fault according to moment tensor solutions. Although Italy lies in a tectonically complex region, the central part of the Apennines has been characterised by extensional tectonics since the Pliocene epoch (i.e. about the last 5 million years), with most of the active faults being normal in type and NW-SE trending. The extension is due to the back-arc basin in the Tyrrhenian Sea opening faster than the African Plate is colliding with the Eurasian Plate.

Seismic Risk Map of Italy published on 2004 (source : INGV)