Last Updated: Tuesday, May 22, 2012

50 injured in Pernik-Sofia, Bulgaria quake

Disaster Report: M 5.8 very strong earthquake shakes Sofia, Bulgaria at local time 03:00 AM. The quake's epicenter was just 24 km (14 miles) W of Sofia.

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Original Post: Natural Disasters List May 22, 2012

May 2, 2012

According to Prof. Nikolay Miloshev, head of the Geophysics Institute at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, There is a 50% chance of Bulgaria experiencing a new strong aftershock in the wake of the May 22 earthquake. He hopes a potential new strong aftershock will not have a magnitude of more than 4 on the Richter Scale.
The scientist further refused any connection between the earthquake in Western Bulgaria and the recent earthquake of similar magnitude in Northern Italy.

Update 04:46 UTC

It is about 5 hours after the quake and the damage reports are slowly coming in.
-Around 50 people are reported to be injured in Sofia and Pernik. Most are minor injuries and bruises because of fallen plaster, tiles and fallen chimneys. However, there is no reports of casualties or serious injuries to people.
-30 people are treated in a hospital  in Pernik, 19 in Metropolitan Emergency Hospital Pirogov.
-Several electrical pillars reported to be collapsed in Rudnichar.

-Below is image of Student City, Block 52 this morning (source



Arta Gjilan from Pristina, Kosovo writes:
I live in Kosovo and felt the Bulgaria earthquake and a few aftershocks. My bed was shaking enough to wake me up, and i am a deep sleeper!


-11 people are reported to be injured but they are yet to be confirmed by officials (It is reported directly to this blog through felt report form). For detail report, have to wait until daylight.
-Mayor of Pernik Rositsa Yanakieva and governor Ivo Petrov are on the spot now.
-The church "St. Ivan Rilski" in the center of Pernik was cracked by a strong earthquake.
-Several houses reported to be collapsed in street of Byala Slatina.
-The roof of the Mining Department also reported to be damaged.


People are scared of strong earthquake to hit Bulgaria again. The rumor of strong earthquake to hit again within hour in Bulgaria has panicked people. But from my personal experience in this field, I can certain that there is no any clue to say such things. General theory says that (even practical), there is very few chance that the aftershocks to be strong enough than the main shocks BUT there is no harm in preparing, isn't it!  (read update below on this). It is not only in Bulgaria, after very strong quake such rumors are common.

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-People in Sofia have gathered in nearby parks. It is very important that after much strong quakes, one should choose wide place as light to moderate aftershocks are common after such quake.
-Rainfall reported in Bulgarian Capital, Sofia.
-It will take take to get pictures and videos from epicenter area (until daylight).

Update 02:28 UTC
M 4.3 another moderate aftershocks with epicenter located 25 km (15 miles) WSW of Sofia.

According to Dikov, chief architect of Sofia, buildings in Sofia are so designed that must withstand an earthquake of magnitude 7.4 to 7.5 on the Richter scale. It is obvious that three things determine the stability and guarantees of buildings during an earthquake. The first is certain rule in designing the buildings. The second is the quality of the works. And the third is the organization of society and response of the city in a disaster.

-Over 15 aftershocks were recorded in the first hour after the strong earthquake that rocked Bulgaria today.
-Block 251 in downtown. "Borovo" was evacuated because of cracked walls.

-Sofia Airport lies 20 km far from the epicenter area. However the flights are in normal condition.
-There was no danger the big Studena dam near the town could burst. The wall of the Studena dam is in good condition.

-Several chimneys and cracked walls reported in Capital. However no injury reported.
-Panicked people fled their homes in Sofia and Pernik.
-No reports of interruptions of electricity or communications.

What to do during an earthquake:
-Do not panic and bolt to run wild - this is the first recommendation of specialists to respond to strong earthquake. Here are other practical tips:
- Do not leave home, school and all the building where you are unless you can leave outdoors for about 10 seconds
- Take the safest place in the building - under the door frame near the inner wall, column, under strong table or bed
- After the first rocking vibration will increase, remain calm and not bolt to the elevators and stairs
- If you are on the street, stand away from buildings and power lines
- If you quake caught behind the wheel, stop in the open, safe place and wait
- The public transport is better to wait until the end of the tremor in the vehicle.

After passing the first earthquake
- Turn off electricity, gas and water
- Take prepared baggage and quickly leave the building
- Go down the stairs, do not use elevator
- Give priority to mothers with children and the elderly

USGS has decreased the magnitude to 5.6. With this magnitude people of Pernik, Batanovtsi, Breznik, Radomir, Slivnitsa and Bozhurishte will have felt strong shaking of MMI VI.
Similarly Sofia and Kyustendil will have felt moderate shaking of MMI V.

The earthquake was felt in Kazanlak, Stara Zagora, Blagoevgrad and other cities.

Earthquake tremor was felt in parts of Serbia and Montenegro, Greece, Turkey, Macedonia too.

After such earthquake aftershocks are common but theoretically they will be less stronger than main shocks (generally).

M 5.8very strong earthquake shakes Bulgaria this Tuesday, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.Pernik_Sofia_bulbaria_earthquake_epicenter_map_recent_natural_disasters

According ot the U.S. Geological Survey, the quake was centered 24 km (14 miles) W of Sofia (Liulyana country). It was 5.7 miles deep.
Pernik, Batanovtsi and Breznik are very close to epicenter where damage is expected.

Sofia pronounced is the capital and largest city of Bulgaria and the 15th largest city in the European Union.

The Mediterranean region is seismically active due to the northward convergence (4-10 mm/yr) of the African plate with respect to the Eurasian plate along a complex plate boundary.
Large earthquakes throughout the Mediterranean region have also been known to produce significant and damaging tsunamis. One of the more prominent historical earthquakes within the region is the Lisbon earthquake of November 1, 1755, whose magnitude has been estimated from non-instrumental data to be about 8.0

There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.
00:33 UTC (local time Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at 03:00:33 AM @ epicenter)

Epicenter location

24 km (14 miles) W of SOFIA, Bulgaria
73 km (45 miles) N of Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria
115 km (71 miles) SE of Nis, Serbia
141 km (87 miles) NNE of Strumica, Macedonia

Felt reports received through felt report form
Maya Timmons from Sofia, Bulgaria: On the 11th floor of an apartment building, you can really feel the vibration- the building shaking back and forth for a few minutes after the actual tremor passes. I am wondering how far the epicenter would be..?
M.M from Sofia: We had the first shake at 3.00 a.m, now at 4.43 we had a new one again, but much lighter.
Arta Gjilan from Pristina, Kosovo: I live in Kosovo and felt the Bulgaria earthquake and a few aftershocks. My bed was shaking enough to wake me up, and i am a deep sleeper!
Ivaylo Kaludov from Sofia: I waked up just one minute before the tremblor to begin. I feel pain in my leg.Suddenly the quake struck.I was not afraid.I heard screaming people outsige the block.Besides I live on second floor I the the quake was not so terrible for me and my family.
Nina Bogdanova from Sofia: I live on 6 floor from 8 floor block and i wake up from Shaking of Earthquake this morning at 3.00 h am .Whole Bilding was shaking a lot for approximate 15 sec and stopped . There was 3 more aftershocks at 03.50h - 3.8 Richter scale ; about 4.30 h - 4.7 Richter scale ; and about 5h - 4.4 Richter scale which we felt in Sofia . Epicenter is app 24 km from Sofia and there where more the 20 aftershock in ragion of epicenter

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