For a couple of weeks, an unusual earthquake swarm is going on in Eastern Romania, close to Moldovia border. Galati is the province where the earthquakes are happening.
The Galati area experienced dozens of earthquakes up to a Magnitude of 3.8 (last one just before writing this article). The quakes have an extremely shallow depth, have a relatively high shaking intensity and are causing a lot of damage in the villages near the epicenter areas (the epicenters have to be situated in an area of many kms and not in one location).
Some people are not waiting for more earthquakes and left their houses due do the damage, fearing a collapse if further quakes would strike.
Galati is a region with relatively low seismic activity and earthquake swarms like the current events are only known from the newspapers in other regions / countries (ER could trace some unconfirmed reports that a number of earthquakes occurred in March 1894!).
Residents and seismologists are very surprised and are trying to understand what is happening. Oil extraction and floodings where initially mentioned as possible triggers but these reasons cannot explain why some other phenomenons like : a constant sound like “boiling water” (coming from the ground) and a strange water smell (like sulfur) is being noticed.
Another reason the people are scared of are the big cracks appearing in the ground.
There is no question that the seismic activity is caused by flood or oil exploitation,” said Mihnea Costoiu, Minister for Higher Education, Scientific Research and Technological Development. Scientists are saying that there was surely no big historic earthquake in the Galati area.
Although scientists are absolutely not sure about what will happening in the near future, they are trying to prevent panic in the affected villages.
The affected population are upset about the lack of information from the authorities and the scientists (we at ER know that people are expecting answers from science which cannot be fulfilled at this level of scientific knowledge).
As a reaction people tend to believe stupid rumors coming from so called people with special capacities while others have been praying to the Gods to end the swarm.
Romanian TV stations are following the events in the news and with a number of LIVE reports and discussion shows.
Update Saturday October 5 2013 : chemical analysis confirmed that the ground water is still drinkable
Update Sunday October 6 2013 : A strong earthquake occurred in Vrancea region and was also felt in Galati. Currently there is no visible connection between both events (Strong quake and Galati swarm)