1976 Friuli earthquake

1976 Friuli earthquake
1976 Friuli earthquake is located in Friuli-Venezia Giulia
1976 Friuli earthquake
1976 Friuli earthquake is located in Italy
1976 Friuli earthquake
UTC time1976-05-06 20:00:12
Local dateMay 6, 1976 (1976-05-06)
Local time20:00:13[1]
Magnitude6.5 Mw[1]
Depth10 km (6.2 mi)[1]
Epicenter46°22′N 13°19′E / 46°22′N 13°19′E / 46.37; 13.32
Casualties900–978 dead[2]
1,700–2,400 injured[2]

The 1976 Friuli earthquake, also known in Italy as Terremoto del Friuli (Friulian earthquake), took place on May 6 with a moment magnitude of 6.5 and a maximum Mercalli intensity of X (Extreme). The shock occurred in the Friuli region in northeast Italy near the town of Gemona del Friuli. Up to 978 people were killed, 2,400 were injured, and 157,000 were left homeless.


The quake struck at 21:00:13 (20:00:13 UTC). Seventy-seven villages in the Friuli region were affected. Gemona del Friuli was greatly damaged and despite extensive emergency measures and international aid by the end of 1976 15000 people were still living in camping trailers, 1000 in tents and 25000 in evacuation centres. The damage was estimated at $4.25 million.[5] Much of the town has since been reconstructed. The tremor was felt in Venice as well as neighboring Austria, Switzerland and Slovenia (at the time SFR Yugoslavia). In Slovenia, the upper Soča valley and the Brda area was particularly affected, with the village of Breginj nearly completely demolished. The earthquake damaged several buildings in Nova Gorica and was felt also in the Slovenian capital, Ljubljana.

USGS ShakeMap showing the intensity of the 1976 Friuli earthquake

The Italian Government nominated Chamber of Deputies member Giuseppe Zamberletti as coordinator of aid efforts on behalf of the regional administration. The national funds were assigned to the reconstruction of the damaged buildings by Zamberletti and the regional council of Friuli Venezia Giulia. From September to December 1976 all the earthquake victims were accommodated into prefabricated buildings, in order to better cope with the winter. Many local inhabitants lived in the Government supplied trailers for many years while homes were rebuilt. After Zamberletti's mandate the regional government of Friuli Venezia Giulia was able to completely rebuild many towns, thanks to an accurate resource management, however some towns took over a decade to fully recover. Nowadays, many years after the tragedy, the State's intervention, the earthquake management and reconstruction in Friuli Venezia Giulia are seen as a great example of efficiency and reliability. (Citation needed)


There were many aftershocks with the two sets of strong shocks on 11 September (16:31, 5.5 Msand 16:35, 5.4 Ms) and again on 15 September (3:15, 6.0 Ms and 9:21, 5.9 Ms) 1976.[4]