Strong tremor strikes near Amatrice

A 4.2 magnitude tremor struck close to Amatrice, the central Italian town devastated by a 6.0 earthquake in August 2016, overnight.

Strong tremor strikes near Amatrice
The remains of Amatrice, taken on August 23rd 2017. Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP

The quake, which was felt in Rome, was registered at 00.34am, with a depth of 8km, in an area 3km away from Amatrice. The town’s mayor, Sergio Pirozzi, said that while the tremor caused panic among the population, many of whom are still living in container homes, there are no reports yet of damage or injuries.

Aftershocks have continued to wrack the region since August 23rd 2016, when almost 300 people died in a quake measuring 6.0. Amatrice bore the brunt, with the majority of the victims being buried under the town's collapsed masonry. Lives were also claimed in the villages of Arquata del Tronto and Pescara del Tronto, both in the Marche region, in Saletta, a one-street hamlet close to Amatrice, and in Accumoli, a hilltop village close to the quake's epicentre.

A quake measuring 6.6 – Italy’s strongest in decades – then struck the Umbrian town of Norcia in late October 2016. Buildings were destroyed but nobody died, mainly because many had fled their homes following two smaller tremors a few days early.

Less than 10 percent of the 4,000 tonnes of rubble littering the 140 hamlets, towns and cities affected by the series of tremors has been cleared, with anti-corruption controls slowing work on the ground.

Meanwhile in August this year, and just a few days before the first anniversary of the Amatrice tragedy, a 4.2 magnitude quake hit the island of Ischia, in the Bay of Naples, killing two people. 



UPDATE: Earthquake hits Swiss canton of Valais

An earthquake which registered 4.1 on the Richter scale shook parts of the Swiss canton on Tuesday. This is what we know so far.

The 4.1-scale earthquake struck some areas of Valais and was felt also in the Rhône Valley.
Residents of the Rhône Valley might have felt the jolt that hit the Arolla area. Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP

Material damages of yet unspecified amount but no victims are reported in the aftermath of the earthquake that jolted the area near Arolla, at the foot of the Val d’Hérens, Tuesday around 7:40 am.  

The earthquake was “largely felt” in  parts of the Rhône Valley, from Villeneuve to Brig, as well as in the neighbouring valleys, according to Swiss Seismological Service (SED).

A aftershock occurred about half an hour later, but was weaker than the first, measuring 1.8 on the Richter scale.

Seismic activity is common in Switzerland, although most of it goes unnoticed by the population.

Valais is the canton with the highest earthquake risk, followed by Basel and Graubünden.