Published on 1 September 2016
On 24 August, an earthquake struck central Italy, claiming at least 290 lives and causing widespread damage. Satellite images are being used to help emergency aid organisations, while scientists have begun to analyse ground movement.
Source: ESA Observing the Earth
The Italian peninsula is prone to earthquakes because of the continuing collision of the African and Eurasian tectonic plates. Under the Apennine mountain chain, the regional collision is causing the African slab to flex and dip under the Tyrrhenian Sea, while at the same time retreating northeastwards.