This paper aims to present, through a photographic reportage, the current state of rebuilding of the most devastated villages by the earthquake that hit the Southern Italy on 23 November 1980, in Irpinia-Basilicata. The earthquake was characterized by magnitude Ml = 6.9 and epicentral intensity I0
= X MCS. It was felt throughout Italy with the epicenter in the Southern Apennines, between the regions of Campania and Basilicata that were the most damaged areas. About 800 localities were serious damaged; 7,500 houses were completely destroyed and 27,500 seriously damaged. The photographic survey has been done in 23 towns during the last five years: Castelnuovo di Conza, Conza della Campania, Laviano, Lioni, Santomenna, Sant’Angelo dei Lombardi, Balvano, Caposele, Calabritto and the hamlet of Quaglietta, San Mango sul Calore, San Michele di Serino, Pescopagano, Guardia dei Lombardi, Torella dei Lombardi, Colliano, Romagnano al Monte, Salvitelle, Senerchia, Teora, Bisaccia, Calitri and Avellino. Forty years after the 1980 earthquake, the photographs show villages almost completely rebuilt with modern techniques where reinforced concrete prevails. Only in few instances, the reconstruction was carried out trying to recover the pre-existing building heritage, without changing the original urban planning, or modifying it. We argue that this photography collection allows to assess the real understanding of the geological information for urban planning after a major destructive seismic event. Even more than this, documenting the rebuilding process in a large epicentral area reveals the human legacy to the natural landscape, and our ability, or failure, to properly interpret the environmental fate of a site.
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