Revision of the 1844 Palestrina earthquake following the recovery of an unpublished document

A. Tertulliani, S. Del Mese, R. Di Giovambattista, M. Pirro


The paper presented originates from the recovery of an unpublished document that reports estimated damage in the city of Palestrina (Central Italy) following the 1844 earthquake. This document is not quoted in the sources and repertoires concerning earthquakes in the Palestrina area, and it has probably never before been used in studies for seismic hazard evaluation. Analysis of the document has allowed us to state the distribution and severity of damage due to the seismic event, assessing an intensity of VII MCS for Palestrina. Comparison with other coeval documents evidenced a possible lack of information with respect to the dwellings of the less well-to-do population, granting the hypothesis of a more serious damage level. The distribution of effects within the town centre of Palestrina has been compared with the surficial geology, evidencing a strong dependence of the seismic response on the local geomorphology. Such results are also confirmed by a similar damage pattern following the 1876 earthquake, and allow us to outline a realistic view of Palestrina's seismic vulnerability.


Historical research;Palestina;site effect;intensity

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Published by INGV, Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia - ISSN: 2037-416X