Vulture earthquake 1930

Date: 23 July 1930, h. 1:08
Magnitude: 6.7 (Maw)
Intensity at the epicentre: X grado (MCS)
Vittime: 1.404


Autocarro attrezzato dal Ministero dei Lavori Pubblici per il pronto soccorso durante l'emergenza terremoto del VultureThis earthquake hit a vast area of southern Italy from Upper Irpinia to the Vulture area, involving the provinces of Naples, Avellino, Benevento, Foggia, Potenza and Salerno. The worst hit area was Upper Irpinia and in particular the residential areas of Lacedonia, Aquilonia and Villanova, in the province of Avellino. In the province of Potenza badly hit towns included Rapolla, Barile, Rionero, Atella and Melfi, at the foot of Monte Vulture.

The quake-struck area was characterised, as is often the case in central and southern Italy, by small villages scattered across hilly slopes, at an average altitude of 600 m asl, with poor links offered by just a few roads that wind through valley bottoms and up to houses. 

Despite this very poor region of the southern Apennine having, over the centuries, been repeatedly hit by the most catastrophic earthquakes in the seismic history of Italy, nothing had been done to prevent the risk linked to future events. In fact the main cause of the serious damage and destruction caused by the tremor on 23 July was due in part to the poor characteristics of the land on which the towns and villages had been built - mainly clayey and sandy soils with layers of gravel, but above all to the fragility and bad conditions of the buildings; houses built using river stones, held together by very poor quality mortar or even by dried mud. This earthquake therefore very dramatically brought to light once again the problem of prevention for natural calamities.