Another Quake Hits Northern Italy

May 29, 2012

On Tuesday, May 29 a Mw5.8 (moment magnitude) earthquake struck the Emilia-Romagna region of northern Italy, a little more than a week after a Mw6.0 earthquake struck the region on Sunday, May 20.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the epicenter of today’s earthquake is approximately 24 miles north-northwest of Bologna; 36 miles east of Parma, and over 200 miles north-northwest of Rome. The epicenter of today’s earthquake is only about 6 miles to the west-northwest of the May 20earthquake.

Forecast firm RMS said local media are reporting 10 fatalities. Italian media are reporting that some buildings damaged by the earthquake on Sunday, May 20 have suffered further damage, particularly in Cavezzo and Mirandola – including the Mirandola Cathedral.

An industrial facility is reported to have collapsed in Medolla , which resulted in three of the fatalities and reports are emerging that a facility in San Felice has been damaged which is contributing to the fatality figures reported, according to RMS.

According to the USGS, the maximum intensity of ground shaking in the vicinity of the epicenter was VII (very strong) on the Modified Mercalli Intensity (MMI) scale. This level of shaking can be expected to cause moderate damage to resistant structures and moderate/heavy damage to vulnerable structures, according to RMS.

The USGS reports that an estimated 60,000 people were exposed to this level of shaking – to include the municipalities of San Felice sul Panaro (population ~10,000), Camposanto (~3,000), Medolla (~6,000), Mirandola (~22,000), Cavezzo (~7,000) and San Prospero (~4,000) –while over 1 million were exposed to intensity V or stronger shaking, where there is potential for damage to structures to occur.

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