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EarthquakeHAZARD&RISKacross Europe
Earthquake
HAZARD&RISK
across Europe

Facts & figures about earthquakes in Europe

  • 30,377 earthquakes with magnitudes of 3.5 or higher that occurred between 1000 AD and 2014 were combined in a single European earthquake catalogue and incorporated in the updated earthquake hazard model of Europe.
  • 11 significant earthquakes, with a magnitude 7.5 and larger, have occurred in the last 100 years in Europe.
  • Over 300 significantly damaging earthquakes have occurred in Europe since the beginning of the 20th century (www.emdat.be).
  • In 1755, an earthquake with a magnitude 8.5 hit the city of Lisbon. Further, it triggered a tsunami and fire that almost destroyed the entire capital of Portugal. Up to now, it has been one of the most destructive and deadliest disastrous events in Europe.
  • In 2020 alone, three major earthquakes occurred in Europe (Croatia, Turkey, Greece), causing more than 1 billion Euros in damage.
  • Over 13 million Europeans have had their lives affected by earthquakes in the last thousand years (www.emdat.be)
  • During the 20th century, earthquakes in Europe accounted for more than 200,000 deaths and over 250 billion Euros in losses (www.emdat.be).
  • 17,127 people lost their lives in the 1999 Izmir earthquake in Turkey (www.emdat.be). This earthquake, with a magnitude of 7.5, also triggered a tsunami in the Sea of Marmara.
  • Italy is the European country with the most recorded earthquakes. The country lies on several boundaries of tectonic plates, such as the Alpine subduction zone in the north and the Adriatic plate, which extends across the whole of Italy and is in a constant stress regime with the Eurasian and African plates.
  • The Nordic countries Finland and Norway have the lowest earthquake frequency in Europe. Due to their rather small populations and comparably low earthquake hazard, only a few more densely populated places such as the capitals Helsinki and Oslo are more prone to earthquake risk than other regions in these countries.
  • Over 1,200 active faults, and thus places where future earthquakes are more likely to happen at some point, have been mapped in Europe.

Recent damaging earthquakes in Europe

The table below provides a summary list of recent damaging earthquakes in Europe selected from the international disasters database (EM-DAT), indicating the number of people who lost their lives, the number of injured people, as well as the total amount of damages in million dollars (according to todays’ value), where available.

30-10-2020

Greece | Magnitude 7.0

  • Total Deaths: 2
  • Total Injuries:19
  • Total Damages ($):n/a

30-10-2020

Turkey | Magnitude 7.0

  • Total Deaths: 115
  • Total Injuries: 1,034
  • Total Damages ($M): 450

29-12-2020

Croatia | Magnitude 6.4

  • Total Deaths: 8
  • Total Injuries: 36
  • Total Damages ($M): 470

26-11-2019

Albania | Magnitude 6.4

  • Total Deaths: 51
  • Total Injuries: 913
  • Total Damages ($M): 710

19-01-2017

Italy | Magnitude 6.0

  • Total Deaths: 29
  • Total Injuries: 11
  • Total Damages ($M): 20

24-08-2016

Italy | Magnitude 6.2

  • Total Deaths: 296
  • Total Injuries: 400
  • Total Damages ($M): 5,390

29-05-2012

Italy | Magnitude 5.6

  • Total Deaths: 17
  • Total Injuries: 350
  • Total Damages ($M): n/a

20-05-2012

Italy | Magnitude 5.8

  • Total Deaths: 7
  • Total Injuries: 50
  • Total Damages ($M): 17,810

23-10-2011

Turkey | Magnitude 7.1

  • Total Deaths: 604
  • Total Injuries: 4,152
  • Total Damages ($M): 1,730

03-11-2010

Serbia | Magnitude 5.5

  • Total Deaths: 5
  • Total Injuries: 120
  • Total Damages ($M): 160

06-04-2009

Italy | Magnitude 6.2

  • Total Deaths: 295
  • Total Injuries: 1,000
  • Total Damages ($M): 3,020

31-10-2002

Italy | Magnitude 5.7

  • Total Deaths: 30
  • Total Injuries: 33
  • Total Damages ($M): 1,150

12-11-1999

Turkey | Magnitude 6.7

  • Total Deaths: 845
  • Total Injuries: 4,948
  • Total Damages ($M): 1,550

07-09-1999

Greece | Magnitude 5.9

  • Total Deaths: 143
  • Total Injuries: 2,000
  • Total Damages ($M): 6,530

17-08-1999

Turkey | Magnitude 7.5

  • Total Deaths: 17,127
  • Total Injuries: 43,953
  • Total Damages ($M): 31,070

28-06-1998

Turkey | Magnitude 6.3

  • Total Deaths: 145
  • Total Injuries: 1,600
  • Total Damages ($M): 870

26-09-1997

Italy | Magnitude 6.0

  • Total Deaths: 14
  • Total Injuries: 100
  • Total Damages ($M): 7,300

01-10-1995

Turkey | Magnitude 6.4

  • Total Deaths: 94
  • Total Injuries: 240
  • Total Damages ($M): 350

15-06-1995

Greece | Magnitude 6.4

  • Total Deaths: 26
  • Total Injuries: 100
  • Total Damages ($M): 720

13-05-1995

Greece | Magnitude 6.5

  • Total Deaths: 26
  • Total Injuries: 60
  • Total Damages ($M): 760

13-03-1992

Turkey | Magnitude 6.7

  • Total Deaths: 653
  • Total Injuries: 3,850
  • Total Damages ($M): 1,380

13-12-1990

Italy | Magnitude 5.6

  • Total Deaths: 19
  • Total Injuries: 200
  • Total Damages ($M): 990

30-05-1990

Romania | Magnitude 7.0

  • Total Deaths: 9
  • Total Injuries: 700
  • Total Damages ($M): n/a

13-09-1986

Greece | Magnitude 6.0

  • Total Deaths: 20
  • Total Injuries: 300
  • Total Damages ($M): 1,760

24-02-1981

Greece | Magnitude 6.7

  • Total Deaths: 22
  • Total Injuries: 400
  • Total Damages ($M): 2,560

23-11-1980

Italy | Magnitude 6.9

  • Total Deaths: 4,689
  • Total Injuries: 7,700
  • Total Damages ($M): 62,800