On Wednesday, a pair of strong earthquakes struck central Italy. They happened close to the area when in August, 300 people were killed by another powerful earthquake. Around 50 miles north. First, at 7 p.m., a magnitude-5.5 quake struck the region only to be followed by an even bigger one. The second quake had a magnitude of 6.1 and happened two hours later.
Fortunately, no victims
No victims or injuries were reported. But authorities fear that the many stone villages which are located around the site of the earthquakes will be difficult to reach in case some structures will collapse. They also fear mudslides. There were some relatively small damages in Visso and in Campi, where an ancient church, San Salvatore, was destroyed by the earthquakes.
In Campi, while street lights stayed on during the earthquakes, the houses were swallowed by darkness. This made the rescuers’ job very difficult. They had to listen to people’s screams in order to intervene. Here, many people slept in their cars for fear that another quake might happen. They covered the windows with blankets and parked their cars everywhere around the small town. When the second quake hit, many people were already out after the second one.
The mayor of small town Ussita is extremely worried. He said that, during the quake, people were running and screaming on the street. According to him, the town has been very damaged. In the area, there were reportedly 60 aftershocks. Reports are saying that people in Rome felt the earthquake, and Rome is 90 miles to the south.
Fabrizio Curcio, head of Italy’s civil protection agency, said that even though the two earthquakes were strong and frightened people, they were not as catastrophic as the ones in August for example. Even if the second quake was more powerful, they were both relatively shallow, with their center 6 miles below the surface of the Earth.
Not as catastrophic as they could have been
A seismologist explained that earthquakes which have their center closer to the surface cause more damage because of more powerful shaking. So in an area like this one in Italy, which has many stone and historical buildings, damages can be more severe. Many of the structures will crumble more easily than newer ones.
In the village of Castelsantangelo sul Nera, the mayor has reported that many buildings have collapsed, but fortunately nobody got hurt. According to a geophysicist, these two earthquakes are follow-ups of the big one which happened in August. Over the last two months, 32 aftershocks occurred in the area. That quake killed around 300 people and completely destroyed the city of Amatrice.
To conclude, Italy seems to be under an unlucky sign recently after three major earthquakes and many aftershocks. Fortunately, no people were killed or hurt this time. But the structures around the area in Italy where they occurred are weak and ancient, most of them. It is unfortunate that such old and beautiful buildings are destroyed in such a way. But when nature hits, nobody can stop it.
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