Similarities to Italian quakes in 2016 give scientists hope of accurate predictions for Lombok

The atmosphere is tense on the Indonesian island of Lombok. Over the last six weeks the island has been shaken by four serious earthquakes, resulting in more than 500 deaths and displacing several hundred thousand people. The question is, are there any more big quakes to come?

Richard Walters, a geophysicist at Durham University, sees eerie similarities between Lombok and the earthquake sequence that devastated central Italy in 2016. More than 300 people died in Italy’s Apennine mountains between 24 August and 30 October 2016, when the region suffered a series of three earthquakes, each larger than magnitude 6.

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