Europe Italy earthquake: modern buildings, not ancient ones, pose biggest threat

The Italy earthquake suggests that danger lies not so much in ancient monuments as in the many buildings constructed between the late 1940s and the early 1970s.

Marco Vasini/AP

On Friday a group of Italian architects wrote an open letter criticizing the lack of security standards for private and public buildings in Italy, warning that there are “6 million buildings facing grave seismic risks.”
The document, bearing the signature of the National Council of Architects (the document can be viewed, in Italian, here), went unnoticed until Sunday, when a magnitude-5.9 earthquake shook northern Italy, leaving at least seven people dead and 4,000 homeless.