WIT Press

Seismic Behaviour Of The Historical Structural System Of The Island Of Lefkada, Greece


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WIT Press


E. Vintzileou & P. Touliatos


In this paper, the main characteristics of the historical structural system of the island of Lefkada, Greece, are presented. The typical damage caused by a recent strong earthquake (August 2003) are briefly described, since they allow for the seismic behaviour of the system to be studied. The pathology of the structural system seems to confirm that the structural system was conceived to sustain earthquakes. Keywords: earthquake, stone masonry, timber framed masonry, damages. 1 Introduction The island of Lefkada, one of the Ionian Islands, is situated in one of the most earthquake prone regions of Greece. A local structural system was developed before the 19th century in Lefkada. The strong earthquake occurred in 1821 proved the adequacy of the system to sustain seismic actions. Thus, the British Authorities (ruling the Ionian Islands at that time) imposed rules for the construction of new houses following the main characteristics of the local structural system. The rules, further developed and completed, constituted the Code for Construction issued in 1827. That Code provided guidance on the selection of building materials, on the thickness of stone masonry in the ground floor, as well as on the maximum storey height. In addition, minimum distance is required between adjacent buildings, to allow for better protection against fire and earthquakes. A considerable number of buildings, built according to this structural system are still in use in the city of Lefkada.


earthquake, stone masonry, timber framed masonry, damages.