As I’m sure everyone knows by now, central Italy got hit pretty hard with a 6.2 magnitude earthquake. For those that did not grow up in a very earthquake prone area, that may not mean much, so here is a breakdown of the magnitude scale:
|Magnitude||Effects||Estimated Number Each Year|
|2.5 or less||Usually not felt||900,000|
|2.5 to 5.4||Often felt, causes minor damage||30,000|
|5.5 to 6.0||Slight damage to buildings||500|
|6.1 to 6.9||May cause a lot of damage in very populated areas||100|
|7.0 to 7.9||Major earthquake, serious damage||20|
|8.0 or greater||Great earthquake. Can destroy communities||1 every 5-10 years|
Why So Much Damage?
Italy is one of the most tectonically active countries in Europe, with two major fault lines, almost 60 million Italians live in areas at high risk of earthquakes. According to Vincenzo Giovine, Vice President of Italy’s National Council of Geologists, Earthquakes are inevitable in Italy, just as they are in say, California or Japan, but the same earthquake in “California would never have caused the same amount of carnage”
“We need to develop a culture of prevention in Italy. We can and should be reinforcing our buildings and developing emergency plans before distster strikes. In Italy, nobody takes action until it’s too late”
For reference, in 1994, Los Angeles was hit with a 6.7 magnitude earthquake, with the tremors felt all the way into Las Vegas. In such a densely populated city, the death count was 57.
What About Norcia?
Amatrice, was almost completely leveled as a result of the earthquake that took place early Wednesday morning, but what about Norcia? The earthquake was only 11 miles away from our beloved town, they felt the tremors just as strong, but none of the buildings were damaged, and of the 4,900 people in Norcia, not a single person was even injured.
Norcia was badly hit by earthquakes in the past, and the town decided to take action, the buildings were anti seismically reinforced so that they could withstand the tremors.
What is Happening There Now?
Aftershocks are still coming, and this is slowing down the already difficult task of rescuing those trapped. The last aftershock hit at 6:28 am on August 26, two days after the initial quake, some 900 tremors have been felt since the big one on Wednesday.
Many have been pulled from rubble alive, including a 10 year old girl from Amatrice, who was trapped under the debris for 17 hours. You can watch the video of her rescue here: 10 year old girl pulled from Rubble in Amatrice
The death toll as of Friday morning is 267, but that is not the final count, 387 people have been hospitalized with injuries, but nobody has been pulled alive from the piles of debris since Thursday evening. They will not stop searching and then will not stop digging until they are certain that there is nobody left, they are using thermal devices to detect the presence of human bodies and working day and night to find anybody else. The mayor of Amatrice guessed that there are still around 15 people buried under the ruins of his town.
How can we help?
There are many ways that you can help relief efforts in Italy.
- Order a plate of Amatriciana pasta. Restaurants in Italy, and many everywhere else in the world, are donating 2 Euro for every plate of Amatriciana pasta that is ordered. Amatriciana is a special plate of pasta that derives from the town of Amatrice, not only is it delicious, but it also can help towards relief efforts.
- Donate to the Italian Red Cross. You can donate with internations currencies here
- Donation points across Italian have been set up, where you can donate non perishable food, clothes, blankets, flash lights, and anything else that can be useful.