Series of strong earthquakes hit Italy amid extreme snowfall

Series of strong earthquakes hit Italy amid extreme snowfall

A series of strong earthquakes are hitting central Italy since 09:25 UTC on January 18, 2017. Within the first two hours, EMSC registered 21 moderate to strong earthquakes; by 15:52 the agency registered a total of 102 earthquakes. This region is currently under powerful blizzard conditions with parts under more than 2.5 meters (8.2 feet) of snow.

The strongest earthquake so far was M5.7 at a shallow depth of 9 km (5.6 miles), according to the EMSC. USGS registered the same magnitude and a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles).

The epicenter was located 5.3 km (3.3 miles) NW of Amatrice and 30.7 km (19.1 miles) NNW of L'Aquila, and about 96 km (60 miles) NE of capital Roma, Italy.

There are about 3 015 234 people living within 100 km (62 miles).

The quakes are hitting the region devastated last year by a series of destructive earthquakes in which nearly 300 people lost their lives.

The M5.7 quake was strongly felt in capital Rome where the metro system and some schools have been evacuated.

There are no immediate reports of casualties or damage but this region is under powerful blizzard conditions and heavy snow which is blocking roads and limiting initial assessment.

"I don't know if we did something bad. That's what I have been asking since yesterday," Amatrice Mayor Sergio Pirozzi told the AFP news agency.

"We have got up to two meters of snow and now another earthquake. What can I say? I have no words."

Ministry of Interior said all public offices in Aquila, as well as all municipalities of the province, will be closed today and tomorrow. This does not include emergency services.

The quakes have triggered a deadly avalanche at the base of the Gran Sasso mountain range near the Rigopiano di Farindola hotel. Up to 30 people are feared dead.

“Around 30 people are unaccounted for, between guests and workers at the Hotel Rigopiano in Farindola,” Fabrizio Curcio, head of Italy’s civil protection department, said.

Below is a list of all earthquakes registered by the EMSC between 09:25 and 15:52 UTC today (total 102).

Date Time UTC Latitude Longitude Depth Magnitude Type Magnitude Region Name

2017-01-18

15:52:49

42.59

13.31

10

ML

2.5

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

15:51:27

42.58

13.31

11

ML

2.7

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

15:46:54

42.53

13.28

13

ML

2.6

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

15:43:03

42.49

13.31

14

ML

2.9

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

15:35:35

42.48

13.27

13

ML

2.6

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

15:28:54

42.55

13.29

14

ML

2.5

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

15:18:29

42.49

13.3

13

ML

2.9

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

15:16:13

42.65

13.21

10

mb

4.6

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

15:13:36

42.61

13.32

8

ML

2.9

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

15:11:39

42.52

13.32

9

ML

3.6

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

15:06:22

42.59

13.26

10

ML

2.5

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

15:00:56

42.49

13.26

14

ML

2.6

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

14:56:44

42.52

13.29

13

ML

2.8

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

14:55:20

42.58

13.3

10

ML

2.5

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

14:52:26

42.53

13.27

13

ML

3.4

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

14:48:11

42.6

13.31

11

ML

3.3

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

14:40:54

42.51

13.29

14

ML

2.5

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

14:37:49

42.51

13.37

9

ML

3.6

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

14:33:23

42.52

13.27

13

ML

3

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

14:29:25

42.5

13.29

13

ML

2.5

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

14:24:26

42.61

13.31

8

ML

2.6

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

14:22:20

42.51

13.29

10

ML

2.7

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

14:18:02

42.53

13.29

10

ML

2.8

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

14:12:43

42.51

13.27

13

ML

3.3

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

14:07:21

42.56

13.25

11

ML

2.5

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

14:05:01

42.56

13.31

9

ML

2.5

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

14:03:22

42.47

13.28

12

ML

2.8

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

14:01:08

42.61

13.32

8

ML

3.8

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

14:00:11

42.5

13.29

13

ML

3.2

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

13:56:31

42.52

13.29

15

ML

3.5

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

13:55:11

42.52

13.27

12

ML

2.7

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

13:53:36

42.59

13.27

13

ML

2.8

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

13:49:45

42.51

13.27

13

ML

2.9

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

13:43:38

42.48

13.26

13

ML

3

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

13:41:23

42.47

13.26

12

ML

2.5

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

13:39:48

42.56

13.29

9

ML

3.2

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

13:37:45

42.49

13.3

11

ML

3.2

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

13:35:21

42.54

13.26

11

ML

3.8

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

13:33:37

42.48

13.28

10

mb

5.2

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

13:30:33

42.51

13.31

10

ML

3

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

13:27:10

42.6

13.3

10

ML

2.6

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

13:22:25

42.53

13.29

11

ML

2.7

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

13:19:52

42.49

13.27

12

ML

3.8

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

13:18:18

42.54

13.29

14

ML

2.5

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

13:11:49

42.59

13.26

12

ML

2.8

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

12:42:17

42.51

13.29

14

ML

2.9

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

12:41:15

42.5

13.29

10

ML

2.7

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

12:38:58

42.5

13.28

14

ML

2.8

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

12:34:14

42.51

13.28

11

ML

2.7

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

12:32:30

42.53

13.31

10

ML

3.1

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

12:30:49

42.51

13.28

12

ML

3.5

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

12:26:38

42.55

13.26

14

ML

2.5

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

12:25:26

42.48

13.29

10

ML

2.7

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

12:16:26

42.53

13.3

13

ML

2.7

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

12:14:49

42.55

13.28

11

ML

3.3

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

12:10:50

42.53

13.3

10

ML

2.9

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

12:07:34

42.55

13.31

10

ML

2.5

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

12:05:17

42.56

13.28

11

ML

2.9

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

12:03:36

42.55

13.31

10

ML

2.8

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

12:01:17

42.54

13.27

14

ML

4.1

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

11:56:58

42.53

13.28

14

ML

2.9

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

11:51:05

42.55

13.31

10

ML

2.6

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

11:39:44

42.56

13.26

13

ML

2.7

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

11:34:12

42.58

13.26

13

ML

2.8

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

11:30:19

42.55

13.23

4

ML

2.6

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

11:26:57

42.53

13.29

11

ML

2.6

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

11:22:46

42.51

13.32

12

ML

2.9

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

11:21:27

42.6

13.06

5

ML

2.6

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

11:19:30

42.56

13.26

11

ML

2.5

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

11:16:26

42.5

13.29

11

ML

2.5

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

11:13:33

42.5

13.31

11

ML

2.8

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

11:11:30

42.58

13.25

11

ML

2.6

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

11:07:37

42.62

13.24

10

mb

4.7

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

11:04:43

42.53

13.27

12

ML

3.4

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

11:00:53

42.52

13.36

11

ML

3.5

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

10:53:47

42.5

13.28

9

ML

3

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

10:51:16

42.49

13.28

11

ML

3.5

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

10:46:33

42.52

13.27

14

ML

2.9

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

10:43:47

42.5

13.29

10

ML

3

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

10:41:42

42.48

13.28

10

ML

3.7

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

10:39:24

42.54

13.29

11

ML

4.1

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

10:37:46

42.51

13.27

13

ML

3.7

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

10:34:09

42.57

13.26

10

ML

3.2

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

10:30:33

42.53

13.27

10

ML

3.8

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

10:25:25

42.49

13.31

9

mb

5.3

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

10:24:16

42.6

13.17

10

mb

4.5

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

10:22:30

42.52

13.3

12

ML

3.2

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

10:21:00

42.58

13.29

8

ML

3.1

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

10:19:21

42.53

13.28

11

ML

3.2

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

10:16:39

42.55

13.28

11

ML

4.6

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

10:15:33

42.53

13.29

10

ML

4.7

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

10:14:10

42.53

13.28

9

mb

5.7

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

10:11:57

42.58

13.25

11

ML

2.7

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

10:09:01

42.54

13.26

11

ML

2.5

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

10:07:49

42.58

13.31

12

ML

2.9

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

10:05:42

42.61

13.26

11

ML

2.7

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

09:56:34

42.6

13.27

15

ML

2.5

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

09:52:11

42.91

13.13

8

ML

3.2

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

09:34:44

42.57

13.28

11

ML

2.5

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

09:31:05

42.58

13.27

9

ML

2.6

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

09:25:41

42.55

13.26

9

mb

5.3

CENTRAL ITALY

2017-01-18

07:08:36

42.99

13.02

10

ML

2.6

CENTRAL ITALY

Seismotectonics of the Mediterranean region and vicinity

The Mediterranean region is seismically active due to the northward convergence (4-10 mm/yr) of the African plate with respect to the Eurasian plate along a complex plate boundary. This convergence began approximately 50 Ma and was associated with the closure of the Tethys Sea. The modern day remnant of the Tethys Sea is the Mediterranean Sea. The highest rates of seismicity in the Mediterranean region are found along the Hellenic subduction zone of southern Greece, along the North Anatolian Fault Zone of western Turkey and the Calabrian subduction zone of southern Italy. Local high rates of convergence at the Hellenic subduction zone (35mm/yr) are associated with back-arc spreading throughout Greece and western Turkey above the subducting Mediterranean oceanic crust. Crustal normal faulting throughout this region is a manifestation of extensional tectonics associated with the back-arc spreading. The region of the Marmara Sea is a transition zone between this extensional regime, to the west, and the strike-slip regime of the North Anatolian Fault Zone, to the east. The North Anatolian Fault accommodates much of the right-lateral horizontal motion (23-24 mm/yr) between the Anatolian micro-plate and Eurasian plate as the Anatolian micro-plate is being pushed westward to further accommodate closure of the Mediterranean basin caused by the collision of the African and Arabian plates in southeastern Turkey. Subduction of the Mediterranean Sea floor beneath the Tyrrhenian Sea at the Calabrian subduction zone causes a significant zone of seismicity around Sicily and southern Italy. Active volcanoes are located above intermediate depth earthquakes in the Cyclades of the Aegean Sea and in southern Italy.

In the Mediterranean region there is a written record, several centuries long, documenting pre-instrumental seismicity (pre-20th century). Earthquakes have historically caused widespread damage across central and southern Greece, Cyprus, Sicily, Crete, the Nile Delta, Northern Libya, the Atlas Mountains of North Africa and the Iberian Peninsula. The 1903 M8.2 Kythera earthquake and the 1926 M7.8 Rhodes earthquakes are the largest instrumentally recorded Mediterranean earthquakes, both of which are associated with subduction zone tectonics. Between 1939 and 1999 a series of devastating M7+ strike-slip earthquakes propagated westward along the North Anatolian Fault Zone, beginning with the 1939 M7.8 Erzincan earthquake on the eastern end of the North Anatolian Fault system. The 1999 M7.6 Izmit earthquake, located on the westward end of the fault, struck one of Turkey's most densely populated and industrialized urban areas killing, more than 17,000 people. Although seismicity rates are comparatively low along the northern margin of the African continent, large destructive earthquakes have been recorded and reported from Morocco in the western Mediterranean, to the Dead Sea in the eastern Mediterranean. The 1980 M7.3 El Asnam earthquake was one of Africa's largest and most destructive earthquakes within the 20th century.

Large earthquakes throughout the Mediterranean region have also been known to produce significant and damaging tsunamis. One of the more prominent historical earthquakes within the region is the Lisbon earthquake of November 1, 1755, whose magnitude has been estimated from non-instrumental data to be about 8.0. The 1755 Lisbon earthquake is thought to have occurred within or near the Azores-Gibraltar transform fault, which defines the boundary between the African and Eurasian plates off the west coast of Morocco and Portugal. The earthquake is notable for both a large death toll of approximately 60,000 people and for generating a tsunami that swept up the Portuguese coast inundating coastal villages and Lisbon. An earthquake of approximately M8.0 near Sicily in 1693 generated a large tsunami wave that destroyed numerous towns along Sicily's east coast. The M7.2 December 28, 1908 Messina earthquake is the deadliest documented European earthquake. The combination of severe ground shaking and a local tsunami caused an estimated 60,000 to 120,000 fatalities. (USGS)

Featured image credit: USGS

Comments

Steve Edward 9 months ago

Yes, Italy did something wrong to get so punished by
'Nature - God.' Your Pope has opened an embassy in the Vatican to the enemies of the Jewish People - Israel.

You Italians have done nothing to dissuade the Pope from this catastrophic sin.

When you Italians compel your Pope to nullify the Palestinian Embassy, your blizzards and earthquakes will fade.

Post a comment

Your name: *

Your email address: *

Comment text: *

The image that appears on your comment is your Gravatar