UI seismometer picks up Italy earthquake - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UI seismometer picks up Italy earthquake

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) -

More than 100 are dead and hundreds more are wounded after a 6.2 magnitude earthquake struck Italy.

"We actually were able to record the earthquake in Italy despite it's small size, this recording, so the recordings up here show real time this is the recording from last night of the earthquake seismic wave arrivals here in Iowa City," says Bill Barnhart, University of Iowa Assistant Professor.

Barnhart tells us earthquakes like the one in Italy are not predictable.

"There's nothing that we know of at this time that allows us to predict an earthquake, there are certain areas that are more prone to earthquakes," he says.

Italy is one of the areas prone to earthquakes according to Barnhart.

Prior to the earthquake early this morning, there was another deadly earthquake nearly 8 years ago that killed around 300 people.

The location of that 2009 earthquake was just about 30 miles from where the one struck today.

Earthquakes are something Iowans haven't had to deal with much.

"People in Iowa are lucky they live in the third most seismically quiet state in the U.S. behind Florida and North Dakota, earthquakes are extraordinarily rare here," Barnhart tells us.

Although they may be rare, many of them across the world can be felt by the seismometer on the UI campus.

The University of Iowa seismometer records about 10 earthquakes each month.

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