Italy has just been rattled by a very shallow magnitude 6.2 earthquake near the Earth's surface in the central part of the country, leaving residents shocked and helpless. The earthquake flattened several structures including buildings and homes in the affected part of Central Italy where it is no longer viable for human settlement. This is by far, one of the most disastrous natural calamities that struck Italy in the 21st century. This natural calamity took Italians and other parts of Europe a surprise when it began shaking the ground for several seconds.

There were at least 7 reported dead when the earthquake struck while hundreds are reportedly injured in various areas of Central Italy. It is feared that the numbers will rise as there are ongoing rescue operations across the affected part of the country. Rescuers are having a hard time retrieving individuals who were trapped inside homes, buildings, and structures affected by the strong earthquake. The total cost of damage is still under investigation to determine the value of structures and properties affected by the earthquake.
Magnitude 6.2 in central Italy transformed buildings into a pile of debris
One hour after the earthquake struck Italy, an aftershock of magnitude 5 from the Richter scale rattled the same area where the initial quake happened. The epicenter of the earthquake was located 6.2 miles or 10 kilometers in the southeastern portion of Norcia in the Perugia region. There are still several aftershocks experienced by terrified residents in the affected area of Italy. The depth of the earthquake is just 10 km below the surface.

Italian authorities ordered an emergent evacuation to areas affected by the earthquake, especially in the central Italy regions. This is to prevent further risk of injury or harm brought about by the continuous shaking in the affected area. Damaged buildings and structures can cause a potential threat of injuries because their foundations have already been broken by an incessant shaking of the ground. The shallow depth of the initial quake is expected to produce more shallow aftershocks, causing additional damage to structures.

The earthquake totally destroyed the town of Amatrice due to the intensity of the ground-shaking incident brought about by the earthquake. Several buildings were completely damaged as it transformed structures into a pile of rubble across the village. Affected residents are now scrambling to retrieve their personal belongings that were buried under a pile of rubble. Some home-owners began securing several personal properties to prevent being looted by other residents who also lost their homes and properties in the affected area.

Watch the tremor below

Italy is no stranger to natural disasters such as earthquakes. The country lies in an active geological zone where it is situated at the edge of the Eurasian continent. The location of Italy is also near the plate boundary of African and Saudi Arabian plates. Aside from earthquakes, the country also experiences numerous volcanic activities due to its active plate tectonic movement.

Tectonic movement of plates produces deadly earthquake capable of wiping out towns, villages, and even cities. Whenever earthquake struck an area, it can cause a significant amount of damaged as based from destroyed buildings and structures.

Past history of Italian earthquakes

2012: Medolla region in northern Italy was struck by a magnitude 5.8 earthquake. Buildings that were made of bricks collapsed, destroying nearby structures and properties in the area. There were 20 fatalities and 350 injured in the incident.

2009: A 6.3 magnitude earthquake hit L'Aquila region in Italy with an intensity VII that killed 308 individuals and injured more than 1,500. There were numerous buildings and structures that were hit hard by the ground shaking movement of the earthquake.

1908: The Great Messina earthquake was struck by a magnitude 7.1 tremor with an extreme XI intensity. Cities of Reggio Calabria and Messina was destroyed, causing numerous damages to buildings and structures. Estimated number of fatalities were ranged between 75,000 to 200,000 while millions were injured during the incident.

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