# How many people will lose their lives if a big earthquake shakes Bucharest?

Bucharest becomes a huge city. Bucharest has never seen such dense population before. from 1947 to 1990 there was a communist government in Romania. 1988 Armenia earthquake with 38,000 deaths shows us that constructions in the Soviet Union are not strong enough. What are the consequences of occurrence a powerful earthquake near Bucharest. An earthquake like what happened in Turkey–Syria in 2023. in bad scenario how many people will lose their lives?

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Commented Apr 25, 2023 at 18:23

Zero (in the meaning of basic seismolgical aspect, not in terms of people): we can partially predict earthquakes. However, an earthquake is characterized by three questions: when, where, how big?

At best, we can answer 2 out of 3 of the mentioned questions at the same time.

First: we can give some boundaries on the magnitude of an earthquake hitting Bucharest, see for example this: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/309634750_Next_Future_Large_Earthquake_in_Romania_A_Disaster_Waiting_to_Happen

Second: if we do know how big can an earthquake be, but we do not know when it will happen, we can assume it will happen tomorrow. So we can check scenarios for this hypotetical earthquake with the current knowledge of the building conditions: https://www.romaniajournal.ro/society-people/350000-buildings-seriously-damaged-45000-people-injured-or-dead-in-case-of-major-earthquake-in-romania/

Finally, "luckily" you have an historical example of a strong eartquake in the region:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1940_Vrancea_earthquake

So you can assume a lower boundary from that earthquake. Please ignore the origin of the building codes, it does not matter if it is a relic from the Kolkoz or if it has been spilled out from the capitalist world: even in the land of unbounded freedom, there are big issues with the construction codes, effective building standards and their resistance to earthquakes ... https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/04/us/san-francisco-building-codes-earthquakes.html and as well https://www.sfchronicle.com/sf/article/earthquake-building-risk-safety-17782287.php