Remote earthquake reconnaissance missions feasibility study: Zagreb earthquake of March 2020


The magnitude 5.3 Zagreb earthquake occurred at 06:24 local time on Sunday 22 March 2020. Even though the event was minor in terms of its reported casualties and damage, its timing makes it noteworthy. At the time of the earthquake, Croatia – like most of Europe  was in partial lockdown in response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

As part of the Learning from Earthquakes (LfE) project funded by the EPSRC and in association with the Earthquake Engineering Field Investigation Team (EEFIT), this presentation summarises the findings and challenges of performing a remote earthquake reconnaissance mission using information gathered primarily from the internet and social media. We will also present how the newly developed LfE data collection app and spatial tools have been used in this mission.


The reconnaissance team was led by Dr Emily So, one of the Principal Investigators on LfE. She has 20 years of experience in the field of earthquake engineering and specialises in casualty loss estimation. She is Reader in Architectural Engineering at the Department of Architecture at the University of Cambridge.

Anamarija Babić is a student from the Faculty of Civil Engineering at the University of Zagreb. She received a B.Sc. in Civil Engineering in 2018 and is completing her M.Sc in Theory and Modelling of Structures. She was part of the field team deployed in Croatia.

Helena Majetić is also a student in the Faculty of Civil Engineering at the University of Zagreb. She received her B.Sc. in Civil Engineering in 2018 and is completing her M.Sc. in Theory and Modelling of Structures. She was part of the field team deployed in Croatia.

Valentina Putrino (UCL) is the researcher of the LfE project, within the UCL TEAM. She is the main developer of the EEFIT Mobile App and coordinated the training of damage surveys for the team.

Dr Diana Contreras Mojica (Newcastle University) is a research associate on the LfE project and is in charge of coordinating the project’s social media platforms. Her area of expertise is in assessing social vulnerability to natural hazards. She was in charge of collating and reviewing social media data, especially from Twitter for the event.

Prof Marijan Herak is a Professor at the Geophysical Department of the Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb. He is the leading seismologist in the studies of the seismicity of Croatia and is the representative of Croatia in the European Seismological Commission.

Prof Marta Šavor Novak is an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Civil Engineering of the University of Zagreb. She is a structural engineer who specialises in the analysis of building performance and seismic risk in Croatia. She was part of the damage assessment and reconstruction planning team after the Zagreb earthquake of March 2020.

Further information

This evening meeting is jointly organised by EEFIT and SECED. The meeting will be chaired by Joshua Macabuag (EEFIT, SARAID) and Andreas Nielsen (SECED, Atkins). Non-members of the society are welcome to attend. Attendance at the meeting is free. The meeting will take place online via Microsoft Teams*.

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* Microsoft Teams is freely available on all major platforms, including Windows, Linux, MacOS, Android and iOS. To download and install the software, follow this link. SECED is not sponsored by or otherwise affiliated with Microsoft, and we do not endorse any Microsoft products.

Event Details

Event Date 27/01/2021 6:00 pm

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