Two major earthquakes hit the Cephalonia Island of Greece on January 26th and February 3rd of 2014. An extensive United States (U.S.) reconnaissance mission was mobilized to document the post-earthquake condition of several two and three story reinforced concrete (RC) structures that were designed according to the local seismic code. These structures exhibited surprisingly good structural behavior for the level of shaking they experienced, which changed the focus to observations of resilient structural performance instead of failures, as is usually done in other earthquake studies.
This article attempts to explain the resilient behavior of the local type of construction that sustained significantly higher accelerations than their design accelerations with minimal structural damage, some non-structural effects, and no loss of life or significant injuries. One of the documented RC structures was modeled and analyzed using actual recorded ground motions. The results provide some hypotheses of the factors that may have contributed to the observed behavior, which will hopefully enhance our understanding of seismic resiliency of short RC buildings.