Emilia earthquake: Q&AJune 9, 2012
Some clarifications on the seismic activity going on in the Po valley
Below some answers to the most frequent questions arrived to the Contact Center of the Civil Protection Department - that is open also during this week-end - on the seismicity of the Po valley, its possible evoluntion and any related risk, following the statement of the Commission for Major Risks, seismic risk sector.
Visit the “What to do" section to know which rules of behaviout to adopt before, during and after a seismic event.
Will there be a new earthquake in the province of Ferrara?
For the time being, our knowledge doesn't allow to establish how many shocks and which intensity may still affect the same area. Generally, strong quakes come along with other shocks, but any prediction of a precise date, time, place and magnitude of future events is totally unfounded.
For the time being, seismicity of the areas hit by the 20 and 29 May major events is gradually decreasing, that is aftershocks are diminishing in number and dimension, although a possible evolution of these phenomena cannot be set.
In a document presented to the Civil Protection Department and to the Governement, the Commission for Major Risks, seimic risk sector, has once again repeated that earthquakes cannot be predicted.
The Commission has declared that, should the seismic activity grow stronger again, it would concentrate in the eastern part, i.e. the area between Finale Emilia and Ferrara, with events of magnitude comparable to the 20 and 29 May ones.
Such thesis refers to the fact that, compared to the portion, of a lenght of 45 kilometres, from which the ongoing seismic activity has origin, the 20 May event of magnitude 5,9, affected the central part, between Finale Emilia and San Felice sul Panaro, and the 29 May event of magnitude 5,8, was caused by the rupture of the western sector, from San Felice al Panaro towards Mirandola. The eastern part, from Finale Emilia towards Ferrara, registered instead events of magnitude not exceeding 5,1 up to today.
We remind that the majority of the national territory is featured by seismic dangerousness; thus, strong quakes may occur in other areas of the country at any time.
What does “significative likelihood” mean?
This expression is mentioned in the document of the Commission for Major Risks relating the seismic activity going on in Emilia. The Commission states that, for the time being, considering our knowledge, should the seismic activity grow stronger again, it would concentrate in the eastern part.
An hypothetical quake would be compared to the 30 May one of magnitude 5,9 and to the 29 May of magnitude 5,8. However, such intensity is in line with the current seismic classification, that assigns a maximum of magnitude 6,2 to the area. Also the values of ground shaking registered over the past few weeks are compatible with such classification. Thus, as of today, no elements allow us to conclude that the Emilian foreshocks are not contemplated by the current regulations.
What should I do? Should I flee my house?
In order to take this decision, you need to know how your house was built. If your house was planned and built following anti-seismic criteria or whether interventions to make it more resistant were carried out, then you can deem your house.
On the other hand, if you do not have such information, if your house has already been damaged by the ongoing seismic activity and you do not feel safe, please contact a technician of your choice or your municipality to ask for verification. If friends and family are not able to host you, an alternative lodging will be found.
Who will carry out safety checks on my house? Who do I refer to?
You can contact a technician of your choice or your municipality. The civil protection has been evaluating how to support local technicians and fire fighters.
I work in a company in the province of Ferrara. Who can tell me whether my workplace is safe or not?
The safety manager of your company knows the structural feature of the building and can provide such information. Generally the safety manager is the employer, who is obliged to request safety checks of the structure to specialized technicians, in case of cracks or minor damages
My son will take his high school examination in the province of Ferrara. Who will ensure the school building is safe?
Specific safety checks are being completed on school buildings. Should they not be deemed safe, the examinations will be taken in other buildings.