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Initial analyses conducted by GFZ seismologists have shown that there is no sign that tension in the earth' crust has significantly decreased: "So far tension has been released only in the central section of this vulnerable zone," Oncken further explains. The series of earthquakes began on March 16 with a 6.7-magnitude earthquake. Although the main earthquake with a magnitude of 8.1 broke the central section of the seismic gap of a length of some 100 kilometres, two large segments further north and south remain intact, and these segments are able to cause strong earthquakes with a high risk of ground shaking and tsunamis.Oncken: "This means that the risk of one or even several earthquakes with a magnitude clearly above 8 still exists." Furthermore, the location and magnitude of the aftershocks suggest such a scenario.
Since the main quake struck, hundreds of aftershocks have been registered, the strongest that of April 2 (CEST) of a magnitude of 7.6. This earthquake struck about 100 kilometres south of the main earthquake's epicentre. Together with the its associated aftershocks, it forms a second rupture zone.