Italy shaken by earthquake which injures two people


Central Italy has been shaken by a 5.4-magnitude earthquake, affecting power supplies and terrifying residents.

This latest quake has injured two people in Visso, which sits close to the epicentre of the earthquake.

But it led to widespread panic among local families because it rattled homes just a few weeks after a quake tragically killed 300 people in the area.

This quake led to the closure of a major highway and shut off some power supplies. Residents dashed out into the street fearing they were at terrible risk.

Many buildings have suffered damage, including some historic churches. However, many of those affected were already damaged in the earlier quake which reduced some buildings to rubble in August.

According to the mayor of CastelsantangelosulNera, which sits close to the quake epicentre, residents were now waiting for help from emergency services.

He said: “We’re without power, waiting for emergency crews. We can’t see anything. It’s tough, really tough.”

Checks will be carried out as soon as it gets light to try to ensure there are no casualties.

The mayor said while he knew some buildings had fallen down, thankfully he did not believe anyone in his community had been injured, but because darkness had fallen and there was no power, it was difficult to make sure everyone was accounted for.

Even earthquakes which are considered relatively small are more than capable of causing serious damage because the seismic waves produced can sit closer to the surface.

The August earthquake completely destroyed the pretty hilltop community of Amatrice.

This latest quake was felt far and wide, from Umbria right to the capital of Rome.

Because of a landslide caused by the tremor, part of the highway just north of Rome, the route known as the Salaria, was closed to traffic.

It is thought, say experts who looked at the magnitude, the depth of the quake and its location, that around 12 million people will have felt it.

The biggest ever earthquake in Italy is the Messina earthquake, which happened in December 1908. Felt in Calabria and Sicily in southern Italy, that had a magnitude of 7.1 and led to the total destruction of two cities, Messina and Reggio Calabria. There was huge loss of life, with an estimated 75,000 to 200,000 fatalities.

The world’s largest earthquake, however, was in Chile in 1960. The quake, near Valdivia was a magnitude of 9.5.