Artículos de Agosto 2016

Why the earthquake in Italy was so destructive?

Jueves, 25 Agosto 2016

Resultado de imagen de earthquake in italy


The earth beneath Italy’s Apennine Range — where a magnitude-6.2 earthquake struck early Wednesday — is a tangle of fault lines and fractured rock.

The mountains, which run the length of Italy like the zipper on a boot, were formed about 20 million years ago as the African plate plowed into Eurasia, crumpling crust like a carpet. Now things are moving in the opposite direction. The crust on the northern side of the range is pulling away from the south at a rate of three millimeters per year, causing the earth to shudder along the spider web of minor fault lines that run beneath the surface.

 Resultado de imagen de earthquake in italy


That, in part, explains why Italy is so earthquake-prone, and why Wednesday’s temblor was so destructive. The town of Amatrice, near the epicenter, was almost entirely reduced to rubble. Thousands of people were left homeless.

Seven years ago, the target was L’Aquila, a city about 30 miles south of Amatrice. That earthquake killed more than 300. A century ago, it was Avezzano, where about 30,000 people died. Medieval Italians wrote of temblors that shook the mountain ranges and set church bells ringing as far away as Rome.

Earthquakes in this region are modest in magnitude — hundreds of 6.2 quakes happen around the world every year. Within hours of the Italian quake, a 6.8-magnitude temblor hit Burma. But that earthquake was much deeper, which means it was less destructive. According to journalists, relatively few buildings collapsed, though three people were killed, including two children.