5.5 quake struck Bucharest, tremors in Galati leave specialists baffled

The first biggest Vrancea quake in four years had a first 1.9 aftershock. On Saturday, four earthquakes with magnitudes around 3 degrees on Richter struck in Galati County, stirring a new wave of panic.
An earthquake measuring 5.5 on Richter occurred yesterday morning at 4:37 in the Vrancea region. The quake struck at a depth of 140 kilometers and was felt in Bucharest, according to the National Earth Physics Research and Development Institute (INFP). INFP Scientific Director, Mircea Radulian, told Mediafax that it is possible for the quake to be followed by several aftershocks up to 4 degrees. The quake struck at 40 kilometres from Covasna, 46 kilometres from Focsani, 47 kilometres from Ramnicu Sarat, 52 kilometres from Targu Secuiesc and 55 kilometres from Marasesti. A first aftershock already occurred and measured 1.9 on the Richter scale. At the same time, another earthquake in Vrancea area measuring 2.7 on the Richter scale, occurred yesterday at 8.10. The quake struck at a depth of 87 kilometres and was felt also in Bucharest but according to Radulian this second quake it is not an aftershock of the 5.5 that struck earlier.
Surface earthquakes stir locals’ panic
Four other earthquakes with magnitudes of 3 degrees on Richter took place on Saturday in Galati area. The Head of the Collective for Telluric magnetic and Bio Seismic Studies, Dr. Iren Adelina Moldovan says that the seismic activity in the Izvoarele area scares not only the inhabitants but also the researchers. “We fear landslides might happen,” said the expert in seismology for “Viata Libera Galati”. Three successive earthquakes occurred on Saturday evening in the Galati – Pechea area in Southern Moldova.
The intensity of the earthquake measured III degree on the Mercalli scale in the epicentral area. The earthquake was felt in Galati and Braila, where the intensity was II -III degrees on the Mercalli scale. Another earthquake of magnitude 3.8 on the Richter scale and epicentral intensity IV on the Mercalli scale took place in the same area on Friday evening, at 17h29min.
“As you can see from the report published on our website, the area is known to be one with seismic activity. But the large number of earthquakes in a very short timeframe gives us reasons to meditate. In addition, it is unusual that there were several clusters of tectonic movements. Usually a cluster ends in a few days. After the earthquake registered on September 30th, with a magnitude of 3.9 we thought the final threshold has been reached and that the seismic activity will finish. But that did not happened.(…)”said Dr. Iren Adelina Moldovan for Realitatea TV.
The earthquakes recorded recently in the area of Izvoarele village have natural causes, in the earth’s crust existing a deep stress, so that the tectonic plates “are pushed into each other” and the phenomenon can not be stopped, according to the experts present in the area for research. The general public is advised to stand under the building’s walls of resistance when a quake of high intensity strikes, not to use the stairs or elevator, which are the most unsafe places during an earthquake, and to have prepared a kit containing water and canned food, a whistle, a flashlight and medicines.
Starting September 23rd, according to various sources, between 78 and 200 earthquakes took place in Galati among which 22 with magnitudes over 2.5 degrees on the Richter scale. The most powerful measured 3.9 degrees and struck on September 29th. The epicentres of these seismic movements were located at 16-20 km northwest of Galati, near the villages Schela and Izvoarele.

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