Central Italy was struck by an earthquake in the early hours of Wednesday, August 24. The earthquakes caused buildings to collapse and people were seen running directionless on the streets causing chaos. Reports of severe damage to house and property have come out but the precise details are to be obtained yet. Loss of lives has also been reported. Reports of cities collapsing bearing heavy damages have been revealed.
The region is yet to have any sort of relief from the natural disaster as it has been reeling under the immense destruction and the chaos that comes with it. Here are 10 things one needs to know about the Italy earthquake.
- The earthquake hit at 03:36 (01:36 GMT), 47 miles (76 km) southeast of the Perugia in the town of Norcia at a shallow depth of 10 km (6 miles), according to the United States Geological Survey. The quake was felt even at Rome, which lies at least 150 km from the epicentre.
- The quake was scaled to be 6.4 on the Richter scale. It was followed by an aftershock of 5.5 magnitudes, only 4 km away from Norcia. This was followed by several other strong aftershocks. The depth of the first aftershock was 10 kilometres.
- The worst-hit towns were believed to be Accumoli, Amatrice, Posta and Arquata del Tronto. Luca Cari, spokesperson for the fire department told reporters that Helicopters would be sent at the first light to access the damage.
- At least 37 have been reported dead, while many have been trapped under the rubble. 150 are reported missing.
- Gas leaks have also been reported in the affected villages, hampering rescue efforts.
- Sergio Pirozzi, the mayor in Amatrice, near Rieti, reported extensive damage. “Half the town is gone,” he told RAI state television. There were people trapped under the rubble, he added. He reported a landslide and informed about the possibility of a bridge collapsing.
- Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s spokesman told on Twitter that the disaster was being closely monitored and the government was in touch with the nation’s civil protection agency. He assured that help would be coming soon.
- According to the reports of the US Geological survey, the earthquake a consequence of a “normal fault”, occurring when a plate is pushed towards another.
In Italy’s case, Tyrrhenian basin, located between Sicily and Sardinia continues to expand, pushing the Eurasian plate towards the African plates, faster than either of them can compress.
- This earthquake is the strongest one, since April 2009, which killed nearly 300 people. The quake had a magnitude of 6.3 and left 55,000 homeless. Italy saw major landslides in the area, followed by a vicious aftershock sequence, 5 of which were recorded to be 5.0 or larger.
- The largest disaster of this kind was reported on January 13, 1915, when an earthquake measuring 6.7 occurred 68 km to the south-southwest, near Avezzano killing 32,000 people approximately.
The exact number of casualties or death has not been confirmed yet. A clearer picture of the destruction that followed the earthquake will be possible when daylight strikes the country. Till then, the people have been advised to move to open fields and wait for the rescue mission to begin.