The earthquake in Gorj had over 300 aftershocks, the intensity – over 7 magnitude in the epicenter area

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The earthquake on Tuesday afternoon has so far had 315 aftershocks, according to data published by the National Research and Development Institute for Earth Physics (INCDFP). Only during the night from Wednesday to Thursday, five of them exceeded magnitude 3.

The largest aftershock occurred on Thursday, at 03:07, at a depth of 10.8 km, and had a magnitude of 4.2 ML, epicentral macroseismic intensity IV.

The earthquake occurred at a depth of 6.3 km. “The tectonics of the region is characterized by two fault systems. The first system is of transformative type, oriented NW-SE, which intersects with a second system of faults, oriented E-W. The earthquake was recorded with a good signal-to-noise ratio at a number of 109 accelerometers belonging to the National Seismic Network. The value of the maximum ground acceleration showed a decreasing trend with the increase of the epicentral distance. The highest value was recorded at the Gura Zlata station, Hunedoara county (105.25 cm/s*s), and the lowest value was recorded at the Târguşor station, Constanţa (0.05 cm/s*s). Until now, 200 of its replicas have been located, the largest having a magnitude of 4.1 ML”, says a post on the INCFP Facebook page

The director of INFP, Constantin Ionescu, stated that the earthquake was felt over a large area, as far as Serbia and Hungary, and in the epicenter area there were localities where the intensity exceeded 7 magnitude.

“It is a known seismic zone with little activity so far. What happened is the highest seismic intensity in the last 200 years in the area.  It was a surprise because our calculations indicated a maximum magnitude of 5.5 in that area,” said the INFP director.

However, asked if Gorj is becoming the new Vrancea area, he said no, adding that we should expect earthquakes of no more than 6 magnitude on the Richter scale.

Those from the INFP say that the seismic zone is a known one, but it is one with weak activity, but these days it was the most intense seismic activity recorded in the last 200 years in the Gorj area. This calculated magnitude of 5.5 magnitude was exceeded, and practically it was a double shock, there were two large earthquakes, with a magnitude of more than 5 degrees. This has only happened once before in history, 80 years ago, when a 5.2-magnitude earthquake was recorded.

According to seismologists, aftershocks are still expected in the next period, but of a lower intensity, i.e. around 4 maximum magnitude, and it is expected that the seismic activity in that area will begin to decrease.

Can another seismic zone be activated? “No, because the earthquakes (from Gorj – n.r.), even if they are quite large, are not so strong as to activate other areas.” INFP representatives emphasized that earthquake predictions cannot be made: “We are at the mercy of nature.”

Yesterday’s earthquake was the second major earthquake in the region in as many days, although experts said it was a seismic zone without much activity.

Immediately after the earthquake, there were more than a hundred calls to the emergency number 112 announcing damaged buildings. Two people were injured by pieces of plaster and falling bricks. Yesterday’s earthquake affected several blocks in Târgu Jiu, but also the headquarters of some institutions in the city. The list includes Gorj Prefecture, which remained closed today.

The earthquake was felt as far away as Sofia and Belgrade, but caused only minor damage, according reports.

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