news8 luglio 2011

Foreshocks in Forlì-Cesena and Messina provinces

In-depth and information on the ongoiing phenomena and on seismic risk prevention

The Department receives from the citizens information requests on the quakes perceived over the last few weeks in Emilia Romagna and Sicily.

On the base of data received from Ingv National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology and Seismic and volcanic risk Office of the Department of Civil Protection, we publish in depth examination of the phenomena. With the occasion, we present again the test on seismic risk prevention and  remind our readers some behaviour rules.

In the regions of Emilia Romagna and Sicily there are two foreshocks ongoings, or seismic swarms: there is not a main quake followed by others of minor intensity, but shocks of similar quantity of energy occur, randomly distributed in time. The two swarms occur in the area of Montefeltro, in the province of Forlì-Cesena and north Sicily, in the province of Messina. The seismic activity in the province of Forlì-Cesena started on 24 May, the one in Messina province on 23 June.

The areas of Montefeltro and the province of Messina present a medium-high dangerousness, according to the map of seismic dangeruosness of our country, created by the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology. Municipalities affected by seismic swarms are classified in the seismic zone 2. Buildings in this area need to be built following specific regulations.

Dangerousness maps and seismic classification show which areas of Italy are affected by a high seismicity, thus where an earthquake is more likely to occur, although the exact time cannot be defined. Studies on foreshocks, like the ones ongoing in Montefeltro and Messina areas, doesn't allow to assume the occurrence of a stronger shock. As of today, in fact, there are no recognized scientific methods to predict time and place where a quake will occur. The map of seismic dangerousness is still the most effective tool that the scientific community provides for the prevention politics. Prevention is still the best defence from earthquakes and the only wat to reduce any consequence.

In Italy each year there are over 10,000 eathquakes, an average of thirty a day, which cannot be predicted. It is thus important to be aware of the danger on the territory and be informed on how buildings where we live, study and work are constructed.

Forlì-Cesena Province: foreshocks in the area of Montefeltro

Provincia of Messina: foreshocks