An earthquake every 30 minutes, over 45 earthquakes per day, for a total of 16,584 events in a year: these are the numbers of seismic activity in Italy in 2019, according to the findings of the National Seismic Network (Rsn) of the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (Ingv). The data, reported on the blog 'Ingvterremoti' and in an interactive navigable map, confirm once again that seismic activity is decreasing, both compared to 2018 (when 23,180 events were recorded) and 2017 (44,000 earthquakes) and 2016 ('annus horribilis' with 53,000 shocks).
"The number of earthquakes located in 2019 is still decreasing compared to the last three years, in particular if we compare it with the number of earthquakes in 2016 and 2017 which was significantly influenced by the sequence of Amatrice-Visso-Norcia, in central Italy , which started on August 24, 2016 ", explains Maurizio Pignone, geologist of Ingv. "Already since 2018 the seismic events caused by this sequence have decreased and in 2019 they have further reduced even if, in percentage, they represent a still very high value compared to the total seismicity in Italy: about 40%".
Seismicity trend in Italy from 2012 to 2019 in Italy (source: INGV)
In 2019 the highest magnitude event, equal to 4.5, was recorded in Mugello on December 9th while, outside the Italian borders, the strongest earthquake was located in Albania on November 26th, near Durres, with magnitude 6.2.
"The events of magnitude between 4.0 and 4.5 in 2019 were about ten mostly related to seismic sequences, more or less long, such as that of Amatrice-Visso-Norcia and that of the Etna area in December 2018", continues Pignone . "Other earthquakes, on the other hand, can be considered as isolated events. It is good to highlight that the seismic sequences that began in 2019 occurred in different areas of our territory, were generally short-lived (at most a few dozen days) and recorded values of magnitude not high ". Beyond these events, approximately 90% of the seismic events located in Italy in 2019 had a magnitude lower than 2.0 and with some exceptions (as in the case of very superficial hypocenters and in the vicinity of inhabited areas) they were not warned by the population .