Italy was rocked by a series of powerful earthquakes this past week, causing extensive damage and the collapse of centuries old buildings. A 5.5-magnitude quake struck on Wednesday, October 26, followed hours later by another earthquake measuring at 6.1-magnitude. Residents of central Italy awoke Sunday morning to even more severe tremors, tipping the Richter scale at 6.6-magnitude. This was the strongest quake to strike the region in more than three decades, but not the most deadly. Only months ago, on August 24, at least 230 people were killed in the rural Italian town of Amatrice as the result of a 6.2-magnitude. Nearly 300 people were killed across the region.
Luckily, there have so far been no reported fatalities associated with the most recent tremors, although at least 20 people have suffered injuries. This is thanks in large part to anticipatory measures by Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and the Italian government. Many residents in the region had already been evacuated to emergency camps and hotels paid for by the government. Also, many schools had decided to shut down in anticipation of powerful aftershocks. Since Sunday, residents attempting to recover have dealt with hundreds of these aftershocks and the constant fear of collapsing buildings. Thousands are without electricity. Access to remote towns and villages has been impacted, making it difficult to fully assess the scale of the damage.
Earthquakes in the United States
The United States is no stranger to earthquakes and natural disasters. The infamous 7.8-magnitude San Francisco earthquake of 1906 killed more than 3,000 people. The cost of damage caused by the earthquake and ensuing fires was equivalent to $10.6 billion in 2015. More than 25,000 buildings were destroyed and in all, the fires burned for four days and nights.
San Francisco was struck once again in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. A 6.9-magnitude tremor, this catastrophe caused 63 deaths and thousands of injuries. This quake is most remembered for occurring during live coverage of a World Series game in San Francisco. This may have actually prevented a larger loss of life. Traffic on heavily damaged freeways and bridges was lighter than usual thanks to the 62,000 fans in attendance. Most notably, an upper-section of the Cypress Street Viaduct of Interstate 880 in West Oakland collapsed onto the freeway below, killing more than 40 people.
Recently, Oklahoma and other Midwestern states have experienced a sharp increase in the number and severity of earthquakes. This is in large part blamed on fracking, a process where a mixture of water and chemicals are pumped underground to break apart rock and release natural gas. Fracking is a controversial method of energy collection that has been met with sharp opposition and criticism for its negative environmental impacts. Some states and legislatures have gone so far as to ban fracking in order to protect groundwater and other resources.
Protect Your Family
With the growing unpredictability in regards to trends in weather and natural disasters, it seems the only thing you can count on is your own preparation and fortitude. We hope that you will never need to use a bunker or safe room. However, a product from Elephant Safe Rooms is one of the best ways to protect your family from the harm and chaos that may accompany a severe earthquake. All of our structures are made of solid 12 gauge steel and are designed to withstand massive amounts of abuse. When it comes to the safety and security of your loved ones, no measure is too extreme. Buying from Elephant Safe Rooms provides you and your family with peace of mind that cannot be understated.