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Earthquakes in Italy: everything you need to know!

Earthquakes in Italy are not rare, but they are not as frequent as they used to be. Today we are going to answer all questions about this dreaded topic.


Earthquakes in Italy: everything you need to know!

Come to Italy with peace of mind. According to seismologists, Italy, in recent years, has shown declining earthquakes, with less frequency and less intensity. Of course, the phenomena frighten us, but we can’t get caught up in it with panic and not travel for it alone. So let’s find out: Earthquakes in Italy: everything you need to know! Be sure to check out our section Weather in Italy for tips and information about weather in Italy!  Here at  Your Travel to Italy with Ana Patricia  you make the trip of your dreams !!! ALSO: see our  “Accommodation in Italy – Tips for your holidays!”.

1) Earthquakes in Italy: everything you need to know! WITH TRAVEL SCHEDULED

Well then: there was an earthquake in Italy and I have a trip booked. What to do? Go Travel! If the earthquake happened in the city you are going to, call the hotel and find out about their situation, after all the civil defense will assess the damage and, depending on the magnitude of the earthquake, will evacuate the city.

When an earthquake happens, the first step of the authorities is to close the train lines around where the earthquake happened to analyze possible damage to the tracks; of course, as it is not a priority, this analysis can take days and even weeks. Until further notice, no one enters the affected city!

Important to Know: read our post I lost my passport in Italy, what to do?, this reading will help you to prevent; if you lose your passport, travel safe and peaceful knowing that you will have the resources to get out of this unpleasant situation.

2) Earthquakes in Italy: everything you need to know! BEING IN ITALY

I’m in Italy and there was an earthquake! What do I do? Try not to panic! The fact that you are well is already something very valuable! If you have to leave in a hurry, take your documents with you: don’t worry about luggage and belongings! Nothing is worth our lives at these times! Follow the instructions of the authorities and always remain calm, however difficult it may be!

Think of all the people who have lost their homes and you will see that ‘their loss’ is nothing compared to someone who has nowhere else to live! Sad reality, I know! Try to help if possible! When tragedies like these happen, the task force is fundamental and the Italians are VERY supportive: they always help each other! Ask how you can help and, if you can, don’t hesitate!

  • Cautions: avoid closed places after an earthquake!
  • Try to stay in open places with no concrete structures around. Some buildings may have taken damage and collapse only after the quake. You can’t be too careful!

Important: Understand Magnitude

Magnitude is a measure of the intensity of mechanical energy generated by a seismic shock and is based on the amplitude of the seismic waves recorded by seismographs. Earthquakes with magnitudes of up to 04 are almost imperceptible, except for instruments or in particular conditions. From magnitude 04 to 07, in addition to a clear perception, there is also increasing damage and danger. The most catastrophic earthquakes are magnitude 08 or 09 and can occur once a year. The biggest earthquake occurred in Chile on May 22nd, 1960, and reached magnitude 9.5.

The table below describes the characteristic effects of earthquakes according to magnitude, but may vary depending on the distance from the epicenter, the type of construction and the terrain in which they occur.



0 – 1.9

It can only be registered using appropriate equipment.

2 – 2.9

Only those lying on their backs alert him; a pendulum moves.

3 – 3.9

Few people notice this, like a truck ride; vibration of a glass.

4 – 4.9

It is usually noticed; a pendulum moves considerably; tinkling of glasses and plates; minor damage.

5 – 5.9

Everyone feels the shock; possible cracks in the walls; the furniture moves; some injured.

6 – 6.9

Everyone notices it, possibly in a panic; collapse of the house; often injured; life risk; high waves.

7 – 7.9

Panic; danger to life in buildings; only a few buildings remain intact; dead and wounded.

8 – 8.9

Life threatened everywhere; unusable buildings; waves up to 40 meters high.

9 +

Catastrophe; possibly a major shift in the Earth’s surface.

3) Earthquakes in Italy: everything you need to know! WHAT IS THE FREQUENCY OF EARTHQUAKES?

Where do earthquakes happen most often? Civil defense made a map, in 2015, with the places where earthquakes are most intense and most likely to occur (to see the HD version, click on this link!).

The colors represent four zones that civil defense defines as follows:

  • Zone 1: The most dangerous, large earthquakes can occur with great damage. On the map, color red. Ex: L’Aquila.
  • Zone 2: There can be large tremors with serious consequences, but less than those in zone 1. On the map, orange color. Ex: Perugia.
  • Zone 3: There may be large tremors, but less intense than in zones 1 and 2. On the map, yellow color. Ex: Florence.
  • Zone 4: Tremors in these regions do not pose high risks. On the map, gray color. Ex: Sardinia.

After all, Italy is not on the list of the worst hit countries in the world like Chile and Japan.

Seismic Activities on Our Planet

On Earth they occur every day, see below:

  • about 8000 magnitude 0 earthquakes;
  • approximately 1000 of magnitude 2;
  • about 130 of magnitude 3;
  • 120 times a year of magnitude 6;
  • 18 per year of magnitude 7;
  • once a year in magnitude 8;
  • once every 20 years of magnitude 9.

Shall we understand a little about Earthquakes?

Let’s start by reminiscing about our geography lessons: earthquakes are caused by the movement of tectonic plates. Italy is between two huge of them: The African Plate and the Eurasian Plate.

To complicate matters further, there is a small plate in eastern Italy, the Adriatic Microplate.

When it moves, the tremors hit the larger moving plates and cause the tremors; the hardest-hit part of Italy is the center, but the south has also suffered from earthquakes.


Some tremors are harmless, others devastating! The worst of them happened in 1908, in Reggio, which left 82,000 dead. Another devastating earthquake was recorded in Eboli, near Naples, where 2,700 people died. Most earthquakes happen at dawn, which makes it difficult for residents to escape effectively.

The epicenter

It is almost IMPOSSIBLE to predict the epicenter of an earthquake, its intensity and where the ‘waves’ of movement will follow, but Italy has a computer program that ‘calculates’ the numbers of a possible tragedy such as the number of deaths, injuries and monetary values due to the damage caused by the earthquakes. All of this is calculated based on geographic density, location, territorial extension, etc.

Another factor that contributes to the movement of tectonic plates are the volcanoes and it is well known that Italy has some active volcanoes, which can aggravate the situation. In addition to all the tragedy, Italy has numerous centuries-old buildings, which become more fragile over the years and, therefore, more susceptible to major damage. Some scientists claim that the animals can sense an earthquake and so have filled their farms with animals to help the authorities.


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Earthquakes in Italy: everything you need to know! Travel with peace of mind. According to seismologists, Italy, in recent years, has shown declining earthquakes, with less frequency and less intensity.

Are you insecure?

And if you feel insecure, have no time, and need help to organize your trip,  don’t hesitate to contact me!  I will love to help you make your dream trip to Italy come true. And how can I do that? Keep reading this post until the end and you will understand how we make your life and your trip much easier.

Did my post help you?  If so, be sure to post your comment below, but if you still have questions just send me a message I will answer you as soon as possible!

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