You are here: Home » Earthquake Center » Historic Earthquakes » 2002

Magnitude 5.9 Southern Italy

Thursday, October 31, 2002 at 10:32:58 (UTC)

small globe
Magnitude 5.9
Time Thursday, October 31, 2002 at 10:32:58(UTC)
Distance from 40 miles (60 km) WNW of Foggia, Italy
Coordinates 41 deg. 43.7 min. N (41.728N)
14 deg. 53.6 min. E ( 14.893E)
Depth 10.0 km (6.2 miles)
Quality Error estimate: horizontal +/- 5 km; depth fixed by location program
Comments Damage occurred in the Campobasso area and at least 22 children were killed in a collapsed school.
small map
Tectonic Setting
Preliminary moment-tensor solutions for this earthquake imply that the shock occurred as the result of movement on a strike-slip fault. The fault would be either a north-south, left-lateral fault or an east-west, right-lateral fault. Some geologists have hypothesized that a major component of the relative motion between the African plate and Eurasian plate is accommodated on a north-south, left-lateral, boundary that passes near the epicenter of the earthquake. The boundary is thought to accommodate slip of 5 - 10 mm/ year. The preliminary focal-mechanisms are consistent with this model. It is noteworthy, however, that many destructive earthquakes in Italy occur as the result of deformation of the earth's crust that is not related in a simple way to the present-day movements of the African and Eurasian plates. Until detailed studies of this earthquake are completed, hypotheses on the earthquake's relationship to large-scale plate-tectonic processes are speculative.

Location Map

Did You Feel It?
Report shaking and damage at your location. You can also view a map displaying accumulated data from your report and others.

Historical Seismicity

Theoretical P-Wave Travel Times

Moment Tensor Solution

Historical Moment Tensor Solutions

Phase (Arrival Time) Data

Seismic Hazard Map

Earthquakes: Frequently Asked Questions

Preliminary Earthquake Report

USGS National Earthquake Information Center

U.S. Geological Survey, National Earthquake Information Center