Mw. 6.0 Earthquake in Italy: JRC Situation Report, 24 Aug 2016 01:36 UTC
24 Aug 2016, 12:30
A strong Mw. 6.0 earthquake at a shallow depth of 4 km occurred at 01.36 UTC (03.36 local time) in Italy, in the province of Rieti (Lazio), at the border with Umbria and Abruzzi regions. The earthquake caused extensive damage in the area around the epicentre with a number of fatalities reported to be at least 37 and a number of people under rubble or still missing as of 11.00 UTC (13.00 CET). Severe damage has been reported in the villages of Amatrice, Accumoli, Arquata del Tronto and Pescara del Tronto. A number of aftershocks continued after the main event, the largest one of Mw 5.5. Search and Rescue operations are under way in the area. The risk of the earthquake is increased by the time of day, the holiday season and the fragility of many old buildings in the area.
The JRC is following the event since this morning, providing preliminary information and assessment to ERCC. EMS Copernicus was activated in the morning of August 24 to provide satellite imaging of the affected places.
2. Situation Overview
Event Details: the main earthquake of a moment magnitude of Mw 6.0 happened at 01.36 UTC (03.36 local time) in the early morning of 24 August. The depth of the earthquake was 4 km - this very small depth increases the seismic hazard. Intensities of up to “Severe” in the Modified Mercalli Scale (MMI VIII) have been estimated to affect the area; this shaking can induce moderate to heavy damage, especially to vulnerable or old structures. INGV has measured peak ground accelerations (PGA) of up to 45% of 1g in the epicentre area. Based on the intensity map of USGS, GDACS estimates 13,000 people exposed to “Severe” (MMI VIII) shaking and another 150,000 to “Very Strong” shaking.
Event Location: The epicentre of the main shock was located in the NE area of the province of Rieti, ca. 2.5km NW of the village of Accumoli, and circa 100 km NE of Rome. The provinces of Perugia, Ascoli Piceno, L’Aquila and Teramo were also affected. This is a zone of very high seismic risk that has seen very damaging earthquakes in the recent past, including the L’Aquila event of 2009 that killed more than 300 people and rendered more than 60,000 people homeless. It was felt up to Rome (110 km) and Bologna (250 km).
Impact: According to media reports as 10:30 UTC (12:30 CET) heavy damage and casualties have been inflicted in the villages of Amatrice, Accumoli and Pescara del Tronto. Aerial photos of Amatrice show a very large percentage of the old part of the village destroyed (see Section “News Summary” later in this report.
A total of at least 37 people killed have been reported in National and International News Agencies (ANSA, BBC) and another 150 (unofficial number) were missing. A lot of old buildings have collapsed in these three and other villages of the epicentre area and people are reported to be still under rubble. Search and Rescue operations by local and national authorities are under way.