Last Updated: Thursday, August 25, 2016

August 24, 2016: Deadly earthquake in Amatrice, Italy

Aerial photo of earthquake damage in Amatrice, Italy (AP/BBC)
A 6.2 magnitude earthquake rattled Central Italy on 24 August 2016 at 03:36 CEST with severe damage in the historic town of Amatrice.

According to the civil protection officials, at least 159 people have been killed and 368 injured till 04:09 am local time, August 25, 2016.

At least 86 of the dead were in the historic town of Amatrice, destroying three-quarters of the town, and in nearby Accumoli, BBC has written quoting mayor.

The epicentre was near Norcia, a town popular with foreign tourists, but most of the deaths were in the nearby towns of Accumoli and Amatrice and the village of Pescara del Tronto.

Italy's National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology recorded more than 200 aftershocks by 15:00 (13:00 GMT) on Wednesday.

Sussidiario mentioned that Pope Francis expressed sadness and offered prayer during the Wednesday audience in St. Peter's Square.

Tectonic Summary of Italy Earthquake August 24, 2016

According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the latest earthquake in Central Italy occurred as the result of shallow normal faulting on a NW-SE oriented fault in the Central Apennines. 

The Apennines is a mountain range that runs from the Gulf of Taranto in the south to the southern edge of the Po basin in northern Italy.

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The August 24, 2016 normal faulting earthquake is an intraplate event, an expression of the east-west extensional tectonics that now dominate along the Apennine belt, primarily a response to the Tyrrhenian basin opening faster than the compression between the Eurasia and Nubia (Africa) plates.

Before and After: Earthquake damage in Amatrice, Italy (GOOGLE/AP/BBC)

Where was the earthquake in Italy?

The 6.2. magnitude earthquake struck central Italy, near Rieti, shortly after 3:36 a.m. local time on August 24, 2016.

This was the largest tremor since 2009, when an earthquake of magnitude 5.9 near L'Aquila in the Abruzzo region killed more than 300 people and displaced about 65,000 people.

Italy sits on two fault lines, it has gained a reputation as one of the most earthquake-prone countries in Europe.

The region is among the seismically most active in Italy, being affected by the meeting of the African and Eurasian tectonic plates and a fault running along the Apennine Mountains.

Epicenter Location

6.6 km (4.1 mi) WNW Accumoli, Italy
35.6 km (22.1 mi) E Spoleto, Italy
36.4 km (22.6 mi) WSW Ascoli Piceno, Italy
43.0 km (26.7 mi) NE Rieti, Italy
44.5 km (27.6 mi) NNW L'Aquila, Italy