The world was reached by the news from Sicily that we have had an earthquake here yesterday early morning. The strongest was magnitude 5.1 earthquake located southeast of Acitrezza, north of Catania. We have no reported deaths, 10 people injured, but much damages on houses and roads. Badly effected towns are Zafferana Etnea, Santa Venerina, and small mountain villages around. Many people’s houses has collapsed or got badly damaged, but mostly old houses that are not built according to newer construction standards that requires attention to earthquakes.

The highway Catania – Messina is closed down from Catania to Giarre for inspections (direction north). If you visit Sicily you may notice that most parts of the highway is built on bridges, not on the soil. They have build the highways this way due to the areas high risk for earthquakes, then the bridges blocks move during the quake instead of the road getting cracks or dangerous holes.

The airports longest closure was four hours, then four flights an hour could land. The problem for the flights is the lava dust and stone particles that can damage the motors. It is very common the airport closes when Etna also has smaller eruptions as all depends on in which direction the wind goes, and this time it was towards Catania. The flights are then redirected to Palermo and Comiso. Etna has eruptions couple of times a year. This eruption was strong as all three top craters were active and new craters holes was developed on the volcano, but we were also lucky that the lava ran down to the large volcano valley, Valle del Bove.

We are used to small earthquakes as 1.5 – 3.0 is quite normal activity several times a year, and we know we are living in an active area in many ways. When Etna is erupting it sounds like there is a war going on, powerful bangs like bombs falling. The lava does not move fast, just couple of kilometers an hour. The problem is often the earthquakes and stone rain. The lava show is though spectacular.

We’ve had over a thousand quakes, the record was over 400 quakes in four hours (according to a local article I saw). After quakes are still going on, the strongest was 2.0. But as I wrote before we have often 2.0 quakes as it is an active area, Etna is an active volcano.

I live in the Taormina area and we did not get effected, but in Giardini-Naxos they felt some of the quake. Giardini-Naxos is just right below Taormina on the south side.

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V?rlden n?ddes av nyheterna fr?n Sicilien att vi har haft en jordb?vning h?r ig?r tidigt p? morgonen. Den starkaste var ett jordskalv med magnitud 5.1 sydv?st om Acitrezza, norr om Catania. Vi har inga rapporterade d?dsfall, 10 skadade personer, men mycket skador p? hus och v?gar. V?rst drabbade ?r Zafferana Etnea, Santa Venerina och sm? bergsbyar runt omkring. M?nga m?nniskors hus har kollapsat eller skadats, men mestadels gamla hus som inte ?r byggda enligt nyare byggnadsstandarder som kr?ver speciell byggnation mot jordb?vningar.

Motorv?gen Catania – Messina ?r st?nd fr?n Catania till Giarre f?r inspektioner (riktning norr). Om du bes?ker Sicilien kanske du m?rker att de flesta delarna av motorv?gen ?r byggda p? broar, inte p? marken. De har byggt v?garna p? det h?r s?ttet p? grund av omr?dets h?ga risk f?r jordb?vningar, d? r?r sig broblocken under jordb?vningen i st?llet f?r att v?gen f?r sprickor eller farliga h?l.

Flygplatsens l?ngsta st?ngning var fyra timmar, sedan kunde fyra flygningar varje timme landa. Problemet med flygningarna ?r lavastoft och stenpartiklar som kan skada motorerna. Det ?r v?ldigt vanligt att flygplatsen st?ngs n?r Etna ocks? har mindre utbrott, eftersom allt beror p? vilken riktning vinden g?r och den h?r g?ngen var den mot Catania. Flygningarna omdirigeras sedan till Palermo och Comiso. Etna har utbrott n?gra g?nger om ?ret. Detta utbrott var starkt eftersom alla tre toppkratrarna var ig?ng och nya kraterh?l utvecklades p? vulkanen, men vi hade ocks? tur att lavan rann ner till den stora vulkandalen, Valle del Bove.

Vi ?r vana vid sm? jordb?vningar d? 1,5 – 3,0 ?r ganska normal aktivitet flera g?nger om ?ret, och vi vet att vi lever i ett aktivt omr?de p? m?nga s?tt. N?r Etna har utbrott l?ter det som om ett krig p?g?r, kraftfulla sm?llar som fallande bomber. Lavan r?r sig inte snabbt, bara n?gra kilometer i timmen. Problemet ?r ofta jordb?vningarna och stenregn. Lavashowen ?r dock spektakul?r.

Vi har haft ?ver tusen skalv, rekordet var ?ver 400 skalv p? fyra timmar (enligt en lokal artikel som jag l?ste). Efterskakningarna ?r fortfarande ig?ng, den starkaste var 2.0. Men som jag skrev innan har vi ofta 2.0 skalv eftersom det ?r ett aktivt omr?de och Etna ?r en aktiv vulkan.

Jag bor i Taormina-omr?det och vi har inte drabats, men i Giardini-Naxos k?ndes jordb?vningen av.? Giardini-Naxos ligger precis under Taormina p? s?dra sidan.

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