Saturday 22 June 2013

Magnitude 5.1 Earthquake in northwest Italy.

A Magnitude 5.1 Earthquake occurred at a depth of 10.3 km in northwest, roughly midway between the Genoa and Florence, slightly after 12.30 pm local time (slightly after 10.30 am, GMT) on Friday 21 June 2013, according to the United Sates Geological Survey. This event was followed by two significant aftershocks, the first being a Magnitude 4.5 quake slightly after 1.10 pm, local time, and the second a Magnitude 4.1 quake at about 1.20 pm. The initial quake was felt in the cities of Florence, Verona and Milan, and as far away as Slovenia. There have been reports of minor damage to buildings in the town of Casola, but not of any casualties.

The location of the 21 June 2013 Earthquake. Google Maps.

Italy is in an unusual tectonic setting, with the west of the country lying on the Eurasian Plate, but the east of the country lying on the Adriatic Plate, a microplate which broke away from North Africa some time in the past and which is now wedged into the southern margin of Europe, underlying eastern Italy, the Adriatic Sea and the west of the Balkan Peninsula. This, combined with the northward movement of the African Plate into Italy from the south, leads to uplift in the Apennine Mountains that run the length of the country, and makes Italy extremely prone to Earthquakes. 

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