Italy earthquake: churches, chapels destroyed as 6.6 magnitude tremor hits medieval town
An earthquake in Italy on Sunday struck the medieval walled town of Norcia as nuns, monks and priests were heading to morning prayer services, giving them just enough time to flee as the walls around them plunged to the ground.
The quake hit the same central regions that have been rocked by repeated tremors over the past two months.
The magnitude 6.6 earthquake caused extensive damage but no fatalities, despite registering much higher than the earthquake which stuck on August 24 and killed almost 300 people.
Weakened by repeated powerful jolts in recent weeks, many of Norcia’s churches, monasteries and chapels were wrecked.
“We thought it was the end of everything,” said 74-year-old Sister Maria Raffaella Buoso after being evacuated from the Monastery of the Poor Clares of Santa Maria della Pace.
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The United States Geological Survey said the quake was centred 68 kilometres east-southeast of Perugia at a depth of 1.5 kilometres.
Geoscience Australia seismologist Hugh Glanville told the ABC that at a depth of 1.5 kilometres, the earthquake was very shallow and had the potential to cause anything nearby to be catastrophically damaged.
“If it’s a deep earthquake at 10, 20 or even 30 kilometres, the seismic waves have to travel through more earth before they reach the surface, but at such a shallow depth there is a lot less to dampen the waves effect on the buildings,” he said.
Source – ABC News