Listen: Italy earthquakes resemble “falling dominoes”, says Ross Stein on BBC

Ross Stein was on the BBC’s Science in Action podcast yesterday with Roland Pease to discuss the recent earthquakes in Italy.

In the segment, Stein emphasized several points about these earthquakes, which have been devastating the country since the deadly 2009 L’Aquila event. Here is a summary of his main points:

• Since 2009, earthquakes in Italy have acted like a “falling domino sequence,” which is extending to the northwest.
• Earthquakes in Italy tend to occur in groups or sequences. This is because the faults are relatively young (less than 1 million years old) and are therefore like broken shards of glass. This means that when one is jostled, you tend to move the others around it.
• There will be more earthquakes. However, we don’t know where or when.
• A number of faults in the region have been stressed by the recent earthquakes and are therefore closer to failure.