Sunday’s Earthquake in Italy isn’t entirely over. A deeper damage it caused on fault lines could trigger more tremors in the future.
On Sunday, the strongest earthquake since 1980 hit Italy. The 6.6 magnitude quake occurred past 7am in Italy’s Norcia town, located northeast from Rome.
Fortunately, no one was reportedly killed but the strong quake and the lighter tremors that followed destroyed a lot of structures, prompting more than 25,000 people to leave their homes and spend the day in evacuation centers. Norcia’s historic cathedral was one of those destroyed.
Matteo Renzi, the country’s prime minister said that this is the strongest to hit Italy since 1980. That year, a 6.9 magnitude quake hit Italy, killing about 3,000 residents.
In August, a lesser magnitude quake also hit Italy with far less casualty.
While there are no reports of death on this newest quake, experts say it could have opened the gates to more tremors.
Every year, Italy’s fault lines are moving three millimeters farther apart. The most recent quake has worsened their vulnerability.
The Vettore fault, in particular, is the most affected. Its fractures have deepened further and a team of experts was tasked to measure the extent of the cracks.
On the surface, there isn’t much clue as to how deep down the damage has gone but experts say depth segmentation is happening already. This means that whenever a break happens on the surface, a deeper break happens underneath it.
It also means a series of earthquakes could occur on those areas where depth segmentation is repeatedly taking place.
Photographs of affected fault lines will be taken using satellites. These updated images will be compared with the earlier ones to check the extent of geologic movements.
If indeed there’s a major depth segmentation, there’s a greater chance of more earthquakes happening in the area.