Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 34 n° 25

Mapping of the “homogeneous microzones” of the faults activated by the earthquake of 26 December 2018

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 7 settembre 2020

On December 26, 2018, an earthquake of magnitude Mw 4.9 affected the south-eastern flank of Etna, causing extensive damage to the urban areas of nine Etna municipalities.
At the instigation of the Extraordinary Commissioner designated by the Presidency of the Council of Ministers for the reconstruction of the Etna area, the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV) has made available the experience of highly specialized researchers in geo-structural survey and territorial planning of active volcano-tectonic areas, for the development of a static and interactive map (WebGIS) of the “homogeneous microzones” of the Etnean faults activated by the 2018 earthquake, published in recent days by the Commissioner (
The map is the result of the work of a team of experts coordinated by Marco Neri, INGV researcher in command at the Commissioner Structure, and also composed of geologists from the Civil Engineering Department of Catania and the Invitalia Agency. The map identifies both the faults that were activated during the earthquake, and the areas of greatest seismic danger in the territory, distinguishing them in Zones of Attention (ZAFAC), Zones of Susceptibility (ZSFAC) and Zones of Respect (ZRFAC).
The team of researchers and professionals identified by the Commissioner worked by comparing the geostructural land surveys with the numerous studies (aerial photogrammetric, geophysical, satellite) published in national and international scientific journals and also making use of the data acquired by the specialized group EMERGEO of the INGV. All the phases of the study were shared with the National Civil Protection Department and the Sicilian Region.
“This experience was particularly important”, declared Carlo Doglioni, President of INGV, “since scientific research has been literally ‘applied’ to the territory, translating into an understandable form some extremely complex study activities conducted by the INGV, offering them to the whole population with implications of great public utility”.
“This is an important and essential result for the Commissioner Structure and for the population affected by the earthquake, as it allows for the rapid and safe reconstruction of the territory affected by the earthquake”, declared Commissioner Salvatore Scalia. “People are aware of the geo-volcanological and seismic danger of Etna, but the earthquake of December 26, 2018, unlike other events in the past, also produced a striking ‘superficial faulting’ of the territory that it was possible to map with precision. These are real cracks in the ground that have also spread to urbanized areas, seriously damaging them”, continued Marco Neri.In these cases, therefore, for an optimal management of the territory, it is necessary to take into account not only the “shaking” generated by the earthquake but, also, to consider the existence of surface fractures that have produced a permanent deformation of the soil and which therefore affect the choices to be made in planning the reconstruction.
For the best possible knowledge and dissemination of the results achieved by the important work, the map has been published on the Commissioner’s website and some contents have been digitized, simplified and made available also through a WebGIS application and a graphic processing of immediate understanding and easily accessible by any IT support, including common smartphones. The WebGIS allows you to “navigate” on the territory by choosing between different types of geographical display, highlighting the faults and dangerous areas and identifying the position of a specific site of interest, such as your home, simply by typing its address in the appropriate box of the app.The interactive map will eventually be updated as the further results of the geological and geophysical investigations envisaged by the Commissioner are acquired for each individual application for the reconstruction contribution. “The map is important both for the management of the current phase of reconstruction of the earthquake areas and for the future territorial planning of the sites concerned”, concluded Commissioner Scalia.


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