Earthquakes in Croatia in 2019 - Building damage and post-earthquake activities


Event details

Date 10.12.2021
Hour 12:1513:15
Speaker Josip Atalić, Mario Uroš
Location Online
Category Conferences - Seminars
Event Language English

This event comprises two lectures of 30 min each by two leading personalities in dealing with the post-earthquake assessments after the two significant earthquakes in Croatia in 2019.

"The Croatian Centre for Earthquake Engineering – from oblivion to essential need"
Speaker: Assoc. Prof. Josip Atalić
Short Abstract:
The Republic of Croatia is among the most earthquake-prone countries in Europe, yet the activities related to assessment of potential earthquake risk and its reduction can be characterized as individual and insufficient. The last paragraph of a paper published just before the earthquake in Zagreb gives perhaps the best pre-earthquake perspective (oblivion phase):
‘’It can be concluded that the present level of awareness about our own exposure and vulnerability to earthquakes in Croatia is not sufficiently developed to serve as a basis for compelling efforts to foster institutionalized seismic risk assessment, mitigation and preparedness activities. In fact, it seems that the relatively low probability of occurrence of strong earthquakes, when compared to natural and other disaster hazards, contributes to a pervasive ignorance of the fact that earthquakes constitute an unacceptable risk (officially). It is therefore essential to act without delay as, unlike some other countries, we still have time to react before another potentially disastrous earthquake strikes in Croatia.’’
After the 2020 earthquakes, numerous activities were undertaken, but mostly without a system and relying on volunteers. The first step was the process of damage assessments (will be presented in more detail) which gathered engineers and knowledge and was the initial step for establishing the Croatian Centre for Earthquake Engineering. In the earthquake aftermath, reconstruction cost were estimated (three times), numerous seminars/webinars/lectures were organized (every 22nd of the month), books/guidelines for reconstruction process were published, the 1st Croatian Conference on Earthquake Engineering (1CroCEE) was organized and many other activities were carried out in the spirit of transition from voluntary to organized system (which is essentially needed).

Josip Atalić is Associate Professor in the Department of Engineering Mechanics of Faculty of Civil Engineering University of Zagreb. His areas of research are earthquake engineering, historical structures, numerical modelling, seismic risk etc. Josip participated in several research projects, published over 50 scientific papers, he is a peer reviewer for national and international journals and participated in over 150 (led over 50) professional work projects (structural designs). He is the leader of the team of experts for National Risk Assessment in Republic of Croatia - Seismic Risk, risk management capability assessment and national strategy in cooperation with the National Protection and Rescue Directorate (NPRD) and Ministry of Construction and Physical Planning of Republic of Croatia (2014-2021). He participates in Study on Seismic Risk Mitigation in the City of Zagreb in collaboration with the Zagreb City Office of Emergency Management from 2013-2021 (leader in 2016, 2017 and 2020). Josip is a part of Croatian Civil Protection MUSAR team, and he is a member of Thematic Working Group for the Security in National Development Strategy by 2030. After the earthquakes in Croatia in 2020, Josip led the organization of damage assessments and reconstruction cost assessment (for Government and World Bank), he is author of two books/guidelines for reconstruction process and participated in numerous strategic activities on the state level.   

"Building damage caused by devastating earthquakes in Croatia in 2020”
Speaker: Assoc. Prof. Mario Uroš
Short Abstract:
The paper will present the basic characteristics of the earthquakes that hit Croatia in 2020 from a structural engineering point of view. Characteristic damage to typical buildings in the affected regions will be shown depending on the magnitude of the earthquake. Numerous examples will provide an overview of the causes of damage to structural and non-structural elements. The impact of earthquakes of different magnitudes on the response of buildings will be compared.
In the paper, the mechanisms of collapse of masonry buildings depending on the existence of diaphragms and their connection to the walls will be described. Also, observed extension of damage will be compared to that expected damage level for earthquakes of this magnitude.
Finally, conclusions will be given about the causes of the damage and the measures that need to be taken to prevent them in the future. Special attention will be given to the load bearing capacity and ductility of masonry buildings, their ability to dissipate energy and the failure mechanisms that are crucial for damage of buildings.

Mario Uroš studied at the Faculty of Civil Engineering in Zagreb, where he graduated in 2006 in the field of structural engineering. Now, he works at the Faculty of Civil Engineering, University of Zagreb as an Associate Professor at the Department of Engineering Mechanics, Chair for Statics, Dynamics and Stability of Structures. He is actively involved in teaching of the university undergraduate and graduate programs at the in courses Mechanics II and Theory of Stability. In his scientific work he works in the wider field of numerical modeling, dynamics and stability of structures and earthquake engineering. He participates in many scientific projects in his field of research as a participant or leader. He is a member of the organizing and scientific committee of several scientific and professional international conferences and author of many relevant scientific and professional papers. He was involved in the implementation of European projects MATILDA for damage assessment and emergency measures after earthquakes and Interreg READINESS project in which he performs numerical calculations for buildings of strategic interest in the City of Dubrovnik and Split-Dalmatia County in case of a possible earthquake, in cooperation with the Faculty of Civil Engineering and the Faculty of Science. He has been one of the coordinators of rapid damage assessments of buildings by civil engineers after the earthquakes in Zagreb in March 2020 and Petrinja in December 2020 and a series of necessary community relief activities. He has won several awards, including the Medal of the City of Zagreb and the award of the Croatian Chamber of Civil Engineers "Kolos" in 2020 for his contribution to post-earthquake activities.

The two presentations will be followed by short presentations by researchers from the Civil Engineering faculty of the University of Zagreb.

Practical information

  • General public
  • Free


  • Katrin Beyer



earthquakes structural engineering