Tribute on the anniversary of the Thessaloniki earthquake

As is the case with every natural disaster, the great earthquake of Thessaloniki on 20 June 1978 left behind numerous victims and significant damage, as well as indelible memories on the minds of those who experienced it. The panic of the first few moments was succeeded by a deep concern over the next days, as to whether other tremors would follow, and the overall impression was that the state was unprepared to face such a crisis. Under these conditions, the Faculty of Engineering at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki was called upon to offer its services to the community. Within a very short time, groups were set up which, in coordination with colleagues from other faculties and the competent state services, were commissioned to check the extent of the damage to buildings and assess the need for corrective interventions. Other Faculty members focused on the monuments of our cultural heritage, many of which had been struck by the earthquake. Working ceaselessly throughout the summer and –with no exaggeration- with a high degree of self-denial, our colleagues made a significant contribution to the successful management of the unprecedented crisis and the city’s return to its regular pace of life. Three decades after the earthquake of 1978, in a show of gratitude to all those who helped overcome the crisis at the time, the Deanship of the Faculty of Engineering decided to publish a 30th anniversary edition. This publication aims to depict the memories from that great disaster, but also to record the major scientific progress that has been achieved to date, in the anti-seismic protection of buildings, pre-seismic and post-seismic control methods, and in the fields of construction technology and seismological research in general.

(Excerpt from the publication for the 30 years since the great earthquake of Thessaloniki, introduction by Prof. Nikolaos Moussiopoulos)