Senior Associate Rumyana Glavcheva, expert seismologist, former head of the Department of Seismology in the Geophysical Institute with the Bulgarian Academy of Science (BAS) in an interview for FOCUS News Agency
After the strong earthquake measured 5.9 magnitude on Richter scale that this morning affected prefectures of Modena, Mantova and Ferrara in northeastern Italy, were felt several aftershocks. It recalls that the shallow earthquake focus, as is the case with the Italian event (depth of only 6 km below the surface), is usually accompanied by more tremors. This time the main earthquake occurred at 4.04 this morning, followed by today's afternoon six relatively strong aftershocks, with a magnitude above 4. To these must be added and a new quake of magnitude 5.1 felt at 3.18 p.m.
The expected long series of earthquakes caused the superimposition of damage caused by the main earthquake (20 May, 4.04 a.m.). This is why the Civil Protection of Italy took immediate action to rescue and provide population in the area of the epicenter. The structures of the regions of Emilia-Romagna and Friuli Venetia-Giulia immediately stated preparations to ask appropriate intervention by the National Service. In the affected area there are civil protection teams from Lazio, Veneto, Lombardia and Piedmont (messages from Protezione Civile).
As it was already announced, there are few casualties - one in Bondeno from collapsed industrial shed and three in St. Augustine, two in ceramic production plant and one in a private home. 118 injured, of which about 50 from the provinces of Ferrara and Modena have been assisted. It was established extensive damage to houses and historical monuments as well as partial collapses of public and private buildings. The report of the authorities of the Italian Civil Protection by 11 am today, the most serious damages were recorded in Finale Emilia, Bondeno, St. Augustine, San Felice sul Panaro and Campo Santo
There is a message for taken precautions measures: canceled religious services and celebrations, until examining the strength of buildings, two hospitals in Mirandola and Finale Emilia were partially evacuated, roads in the affected area have been inspected, movement of trains by the State Railways in sections along the lines Bologna, Bologna, Padua and Verona has been canceled. Rescue and assistance to affected population is legally entrusted to local government services. Police forces are activated to protect the population and unattended buildings from looting.
Today's earthquake activity in the area of Modena-Mantova-Ferrara is surprisingly in close-ups. The region has no seismic indications of impending earthquake. In the long run, however, it is no surprise. In 1570 in the area of Ferrara was recorded an earthquake which magnitude according to the consequences is estimated by of Italian colleagues at about 5.5. In July 1987 near the today’s epicenter was felt an earthquake of magnitude 5.4.
On the map:
Epicenter of the earthquake in Italy (red star) at 4.04 a.m., 20 May and spatial distribution of impacts (MM intensity scale)
The maximum intensity is at level 7 (early estimation).