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Archive for April 8th, 2009

Italy Quake Update

Posted by feww on April 8, 2009

Magnitude 5.6 aftershock, largest to date, strikes central Italy

The quake area has so far experienced about 200 tremors, a half dozen or so of the which measured 4+ Mw. The largest aftreshock to follow the mainshock that struck near L’Aquila, central Italy, early Monday measured 5.6Mw, centered at 42.349°N, 13.405°E at a depth of about 13km, about 90 km NE of Rome, according to USGS-EHP (event id: us2009fdbl).

Hospital patients rest outdoors after an earthquake caused the collapse of St. Salvatore Hospital in Aquila April 6, 2009. REUTERS/Giampiero Sposito. Image may be subject to copyright.

  • Largest aftershock to strike the quake area measured 5.6Mw.
  • Monday Quake death toll has so far risen to about 250.
  • Local official say about one thousand people were injured, 100 of them seriously (12 critically).
  • The government estimates the reconstruction would cost 1.2 billion euros (~ $1.6 billion).
  • Billionaire Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi disagrees and stresses that the cost would be “several billion euros.”
  • Up to 50,000 people are thought to become homeless.
  • About 17,000 people have already lost their homes, or were unable to return to their homes.
  • The earthquake damaged or destroyed up to 15,000 buildings in 26 cities, towns and villages around L’Aquila including the towns of Onna and Paganica, officials said.
  • Overnight temperatures fell to 4°C in L’Aquila, felling near freezing at higher altitudes.

Nuns walk past a collapsed house in Onna, a small town some 10km (six miles) from L’Aquila, the epicentre of the quake. A violent earthquake jolted central Italy killing at least 92 people and injuring 1,500 as buildings and homes in a walled medieval town were reduced to rubble. Photo: Vincenzo Pinto/ AFP. Source: France 24. Image may be subject to copyright.

FEWW Forecast:  FEWW has forecast a powerful quake to strike central Italy 2009-10, which would likely measure 6.9Mw. Details would be posted on this blog at the appropriate time.

Earthquake in Central Italy

A magnitude 6.3 earthquake hit central Italy on April 6, 2009, killing at least 91 people, and leaving tens of thousands homeless. The government declared a state of emergency, while thousands of rescuers searched for survivors through the rubble of buildings and houses in the medieval city of L’Aquila and nearby small towns.

This image of central Italy shows the rugged topography in the vicinity of L’Aquila, the town closest to the epicenter (largest circle) of the quake. The map is based on data from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission, which flew on the Space Shuttle Endeavour, launched on February 11, 2000. Lower elevations are shown in green, while higher elevations are light brown and off-white. The direction of the mountain slopes is indicated by shading. Steep, northwest-facing slopes are brightest, while steep, southeast-facing slopes are darkest.

L’Aquila is nestled in the central Apennine Mountains, which run the length of Italy like a spine. The mountains are crisscrossed by dozens of faults, or cracks in the Earth’s crust. The earthquake appears to have occurred along one of the faults in this area. Faults are not always visible at the surface, but in this part of the Apennines, many of them are revealed by steeply sloped fault scarps (bluffs or cliffs that trace the path of the underground fracture). A major fault system is revealed by a scarp running north-northwest from the Focino Plain nearly to L’Aquila, passing along the eastern foothills of Mt. Velino and Mt. Ocre. L’Aquila is wedged between a pair of parallel faults running toward the northwest and a long, broken fault extending toward the east. NASA image created by Jesse Allen, using SRTM data provided courtesy of the University of Maryland’s Global Land Cover Facility. Caption by Rebecca Lindsey. Instrument: Space Shuttle – SRTM. Image acquired April 6, 2009.

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