The USGS has released the following statement on the latest in a string of strong-to-severe earthquakes to strike central Italy (see M6.6 Earthquake Hits Norcia, Italy).
A magnitude 6.6 earthquake struck Italy on October 30, 2016 at 06:40:19 UTC (7:40 am local time). This is reportedly the largest earthquake in Italy since the magnitude 6.9 Irpinia earthquake struck southern Italy in 1980.This is a complex sequence of related earthquakes occurring on more than one fault segments in central Italy. We can expect aftershocks to continue for weeks and possibly months. We cannot rule out the possibility of similar sized or larger events, though the probability of a larger event is low.
The largest earthquake in a sequence is generally referred to as the mainshock but each large earthquake will have associated aftershocks. Further research into this ongoing sequence will more clearly determine how each event relates to other earthquakes, and how the sequence as a whole developed in space and time.
Visit the USGS event page for more information. For estimates of casualties and damage, visit the USGS Prompt Assessment of Global Earthquakes for Response (PAGER) website. If you felt either earthquake, report your experience on the “USGS Did You Feel It?” website for this event.
The USGS operates a 24/7 National Earthquake Information Center in Colorado that can be reached for more information at (303) 273-8500.
Learn more about the USGS Earthquake Hazards Program.