EARTHQUAKE IN CENTRAL ITALY, THE DEATH TOLL IS RISING. MANY CHILDREN The 'stretching' of the Apennines, that is, the process of their extending from East to West, is the mechanism at the origin of the magnitude 6 earthquake

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The death toll following the violent earthquake in central Italy is at 21 confirmed victims at the moment: 11 people in the Lazio region (6 in Accumoli and 5 in Amatrice, in the province of Rieti), and 10 in the Marche region and in Pescara del Tronto (Ascoli Piceno). Yet, many persons are still under the rubble and the death toll is likely to rise. “Dozens of victims, many still under the rubble, we are preparing a place for the bodies”, says the mayor of Amatrice, Sergio Pirozzi. Many children have been affected by the earthquake.

The ‘stretching’ of the Apennines, that is, the process of its extending from East to West, is the mechanism at the origin of a magnitude 6 earthquake that hit Rieti at 3:36 a.m., and which has caused over 40 aftershocks in an area of about 30 km in Lazio, Marche, and Umbria. These are the data provided by the first analysis conducted by the Italian National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology seismologists (INGV). “The type of movement observed in the seismic data shows an extensional fault, similar to the one at the origin of the recent earthquakes close to this area, namely those in L’Aquila in 2006 and in Colfiorito in 1997,” seismologist Alessandro Amato (INGV) told ANSA. “Those earthquakes – he added – were superficial like the last one; they occurred 8-10 km deep, which explains the strength of the shocks.”

Thirty-nine important aftershocks (with a magnitude equal to or greater than 3) were recorded in just over three hours in the Lazio, Umbria, and Marche regions, starting  3:36 a.m., when a magnitude 6 earthquake hit Rieti, according to the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV). So far, the strongest aftershocks following the main one have been recorded in the area of Norcia (Perugia): the magnitude of the first one, at 4.33 a.m, was 5.4, and it was preceded (one minute earlier, at 4:32 a.m.) by a magnitude 5.1 earthquake.
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