More Tremors Rattle Central Italy
When double tremors hit central Italy, they left widespread damage in historic towns and forced residents out of their homes.
Wednesday evening’s 5.5-magnitude quake rocked north of Visso in Macerata province, followed by a 6.1 magnitude tremor in the same area two hours later.
The epicenter of the first tremor was about 9 kilometers away, south-southwest of the town of Visso.
A series of powerful aftershocks were recorded Thursday as well.
Widespread Damage in Historic Towns
The wrath of the twin quakes left a trail of destruction in historic towns. Damage in Visso and another town, Campi, where the historic church, San Salvatore, was destroyed by the tremors.
In nearby Norcia, a couple of miles to the south, the main square and the church are badly damaged. It had been weakened by the earthquake in August.
Aside from the badly damaged historic towns, many houses have been badly damaged, forcing hundreds of residents to evacuate to emergency shelters. Temporary shelter was offered to people whose homes were at risk.
No Deaths Reported
Though there were residents who were treated for shock and light injuries, no record of human casualties was reported to local authorities.
Interior Minister Angelino Alfano said it was “miraculous” no deaths had been reported.
At first, rescue teams struggled to reach some areas for rescue and search operations, but officials say the situation is “not catastrophic.”
At present, residents are jittery and anxious for possible quakes that may occur.
New Tremors Linked to August quake
Visso is 70km (45 miles) from Amatrice, which was badly damaged in the 6.2 magnitude quake in August that left about 270 residents dead.
Many speculated the twin quakes are linked to the quake of two months ago.
Italy No Stranger to Earthquakes
Experts say Italy is prone to earthquakes. In fact, a deadly earthquake in L’Aquila killed more than 300 people in 2009. Three years after, two more powerful earthquakes killed more than 20 people in the northern Emilia Romagna region.