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August 2016



In the early morning hours of August 24, 2016 a magnitude 6.2 earthquake struck Norcia, Italy. Amatrice, a small city located southeast of Norcia became one of the hardest hit in the region of Umbria. There is a shallow fault located in the Central Apennines mountain range. Search and rescue efforts are underway as more smaller quakes are being reported.

Italy, slightly larger than Arizona, is a peninsula extending into the central Mediterranean Sea. The terrain of Italy is mostly rugged and mountainous, with some plains and coastal lowlands. The country's regional risks include: landslides, mudflows, avalanches, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, flooding; land subsidence in Venice.

Italy became a nation-state in 1861 when the regional states of the peninsula, along with Sardinia and Sicily, were united under King Victor Emmanuel II. An era of parliamentary government came to a close in the early 1920s when Benito Mussolini established a Fascist dictatorship. His alliance with Nazi Germany led to Italy's defeat in World War II. A democratic republic replaced the monarchy in 1946 and economic revival followed.

Italy is a charter member of NATO and the European Economic Community (EEC). It has been at the forefront of European economic and political unification, joining the Economic and Monetary Union in 1999. Italy has many natural resources: coal, mercury, zinc, potash, marble, barite, asbestos, pumice, fluorspar, feldspar, pyrite (sulfur), natural gas and crude oil reserves, and fish.

USGS Earthquake Hazards Program; CIA World Factbook, 8/2016; 8/2016

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