Our thoughts and prayers go out to our sisters and brothers in central Italy this morning: a 6.6 magnitude earthquake struck Norcia (Umbria) shortly before 8 a.m. today (local time).
Luckily, most of the affected areas had already been evacuated in the wake of the 6.2 earthquake that virtually destroyed Amatrice and claimed nearly 300 lives in August of this year. Although some serious injuries and widespread damage to historic buildings have been reported, there have been no deaths as of yet.
After the August quake, the Italy-America Chamber of Commerce Texas set up a PayPal account to accept donations for relief and recovery efforts. The campaign is still active and you can donate by clicking here (the Chamber has been a client of mine since February of this year).
My friend Monica Larner, a wine writer living in Rome, wrote the following on her Facebook this morning and shared the image below:
I’m trying to understand the recent seismic activity that has us all on edge here in Central Italy. The earthquakes are the result of plate compression- one plate is pushed under another. That explains why the land near the epicenters had actually fallen by 20 centimeters since the two strong quakes last Wednesday. I’ve copied this passage from the USGS website (www.earthquake.usgs.gov): “Geologically, the Apennines is largely an accretionary wedge formed as a consequence of subduction. This region is tectonically and geologically complex, involving both subduction of the Adria micro-plate beneath Eurasia and the Apennines from east to west, continental collision between the Eurasia and Nubia (Africa) plates building the Alpine mountain belt further to the north and the opening of the Tyrrhenian basin to the west.”
I’m heading back to Italy tomorrow and will be driving through central Italy on my way to Naples later this week. I’ll report back if I learn anything new about the situation on the ground there.
Like Monica, I grew up in southern California where seismic activity is common. I was living in Los Angeles when the 1994 Northridge quake struck. It scared the living daylights out of all of us. But I’ve never heard of so many major quakes in such a short period of time.
This morning, Tracie and I have our Italian sisters and brothers in our thoughts and prayers.