Italian expert: Recent quakes were foreshocks

Oct 31, 2016, 00:46
Italian expert: Recent quakes were foreshocks

CNN International meteorologist Derek Van Dam that Sunday's quake was Italy's strongest in 36 years and that Wednesday's temblors were "considered foreshocks" ahead of Sunday's "main natural disaster".

A view of the facade of the San Benedetto Basilica, in Norcia, central Italy, after an natural disaster with a preliminary magnitude of 6.6 struck central Italy.

"There was extensive damage to buildings but no reports of injuries".

- April 6, 2009 - An quake measuring 6.3 strikes the Abruzzo region east of Rome.

The Sunday temblor was linked by experts to a 6.1 quake on August 24, which killed 298 and leveled the towns of Amatrice and Accumoli in the nearby region of Lazio. Generally, the more shallow the epicenter, the more a quake is felt at the earth's surface, and the more damage it is likely to cause.

Nuns rushed out of their church in the central town of Norcia as the clock tower appeared about to crumble In Rieti, hospital patients fled into the street and and huddled outside under blankets. The same area was hit by a series of less powerful quakes on Wednesday, allegedly linked to the deadly seismic event that killed around 300 in August.

Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has announced that Italy will be rebuilding the structures, homes and churches that were severely damaged in the country's latest natural disaster.

The quake was powerful enough to set off auto alarms in Rome, 120 kilometres from the epicentre.

It was a stronger quake than one that struck central Italy on August 24, killing close to 300 people.

Central Italy was shaken by a powerful 6.6-magnitude natural disaster on Sunday morning, destroying centuries old buildings and wounding at least 20.

Italy's Civil Protection Department said staff were out and checking for damage and injured.

"I was sleeping in my auto, I saw hell break out", he was quoted as saying. Part of the capital's underground rail network and a road flyover were closed to allow structural safety checks to be carried out.

Pope Francis said he was praying for the victims of Italy's latest quake.

The Sunday morning quake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.6 was centered in a mountainous area straddling the central Italy regions of Umbria and Marche. "We thought it was the end of everything", said 74-year-old Sister Maria Raffaella Buoso, sitting on a bench outside the walls of Norcia after being evacuated from the Monastery of the Poor Clares of Santa Maria della Pace.

The latest quake comes two months after another quake hit central Italy killing several hundred. Witnesses said the 14th Century St. Benedict cathedral collapsed in the quake, with only the facade still standing.

"From the 10,000 people now needing assistance, we risk arriving at 100,000", said Luca Cerisoli, the governor of the Marche region, on Italy's Adriatic coast, after Sunday's quake.

The crowds in St. Peter's Square interrupted Francis with applause when he mentioned the quake during his weekly Sunday blessing.

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