40 People killed in Earth quake in Italy

Discussion in 'International Politics' started by Pintu, Apr 6, 2009.

  1. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

    Mar 22, 2009
    Likes Received:
    According to AFP, a powerful earthquake devastated historic mountain town on Monday killed at least 40 people.

    The link and the report from the AFP are as follows:


    Italy quake kills 40, devastates historic town

    10 hours ago

    L'AQUILA, Italy (AFP) — A powerful earthquake tore through central Italy on Monday devastating historic mountain towns and killing at least 40 people, authorities said.

    Many remained unaccounted for as emergency services scrambled to find victims trapped under collapsed buildings in L'Aquila, which bore the brunt of the quake, and officials warned that the toll would rise.

    Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi declared a state of emergency and cancelled a trip to Russia so he could go to L'Aquila, capital of Abruzzo region, about 100 kilometres (60 miles) northeast of Rome.

    The quake struck just after 3:30 am (0130 GMT) and lasted about 30 seconds, bringing down many of the town's Renaissance and Baroque buildings.

    Roofs caved in on sleeping inhabitants and boulders fell off mountain slopes blocking many roads. At least five children were among the dead in L'Aquila, according to police quoted by ANSA news agency.

    The quake measured magnitude 6.2, according to the Italian geophysical institute.

    The epicentre was just outside L'Aquila and heavy damage was inflicted up to 30 kilometres (20 miles) away in all directions, emergency services told AFP.

    Sirens blared across L'Aquila as rescue workers with dogs raced to find people in the rubble. Thousands of the 60,000 residents fled into the streets as more than a dozen aftershocks rattled the town.

    Some even left L'Aquila by foot with belongings in suitcases leaving behind the historic buildings with badly cracked walls and debris strewn across the streets.

    Rescue workers pulled several people alive out of one four-storey building and said could hear a women's cries in the rubble. They planned to try to lift the roof with a giant crane.

    Maria Francesco said: "It was the apocalypse, our house collapsed. It's destroyed, and there's nothing left to recover."

    Doctors treated people in the open air outside L'Aquila's main hospital as only one operating room was functioning.

    L'Aquila suffered the biggest toll. Other dead were reported in the surrounding towns and villages of Castelnuovo, Poggio Picenze, Tormintarte, Fossa, Totani and Villa Sant'Angelo, said police quoted by ANSA.

    Pope Benedict XVI was praying for the victims, the Vatican said. But Guido Bertolaso, head of Italy's public safety department, warned the toll would rise.

    "It's an event that will mobilise the nation for many weeks," he said, adding that at least 10,000 homes or buildings had been damaged in the quake.

    Residents of the region told how the quake terrorised them.

    Matthew Peacock, who lives with his wife and child in the Umbrian town of Amelia, near the main quake zone, told Britain's Sky television: "It felt like the house was being shaken from the rooftop -- my bed was banging against the wall and you could hear this creaking.

    "I rushed across the hallway to my son, who's five, grabbed him and stood underneath the doorway. The shaking went on for 20 seconds or so."

    He went on: "The earth really felt like jelly underneath. Dogs outside were making an incredible racket."

    Barry Raven, a Briton living in Monte San Marino, 60 miles (100km) northeast of L'Aquila, said his house shook for about 30 seconds.

    "When you felt it you were thinking 'Is this the beginning or is this the end?" he told Sky News.

    The epicentre of the quake, which was also felt in Rome, was some five kilometres (three miles) south of L'Aquila, public safety officials said. The quake was only five kilometers below the surface.

    Some 15,000 people suffered a power outage and the L'Aquila to Rome highway was closed.

    The quake came about five hours after a 4.6-magnitude tremor shook the Ravenna district in Emilia-Romagna region, which was felt over a wide area, notably in the Marche region on the Adriatic coast, officials said.

    A powerful earthquake in the region claimed 13 lives in 1997 and damaged or destroyed priceless cultural heritage.

    Italy is criss-crossed by two fault lines, making it one of Europe's most quake-vulnerable regions, with some 20 million people at risk.

    An October 2002 quake killed 30 people including 27 pupils and their teacher who were crushed under their schoolhouse in the tiny medieval village of San Giuliano di Puglia.

    On November 23, 1980, a violent quake struck the southern region of Irpiona near Naples, killing 2,570, injuring 8,850 and displacing 30,000.
  3. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

    Apr 5, 2009
    Likes Received:
    I'm in Italy and I didn't even realize that there was a earthquake in central Italy. I don't watch the Italian media as it is in Italian and I tend to miss on local stuff as a result. Thanks for the post.
  4. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

    Mar 22, 2009
    Likes Received:
    More update on the Earth quake from REUTERS:


    Rescuers hunt all night for Italy quake survivors
    Mon Apr 6, 2009 6:27pm EDT

    Email | Print |
    | Reprints | Single Page
    [-] Text [+]
    * State of emergency after Italian quake kills 130

    * Rain slows night-long search for trapped survivors

    * Italy's worst quake since 1980 wipes out towns, villages

    * Up to 50,000 people may be homeless

    By Deepa Babington

    L'AQUILA, Italy, April 7 (Reuters) - Rescuers searched through the night for survivors of an earthquake that killed more than 130 people in central Italy early on Monday and left thousands of homeless huddled in tent camps and rough shelters.

    Rain complicated the task of firemen and emergency workers combing the rubble in the hope of plucking people alive from collapsed houses in the medieval mountain city of L'Aquila and nearby villages, some almost entirely destroyed.

    The quake struck shortly after 3.30 a.m. (0130 GMT) on Monday, catching residents in their sleep and flattening houses, ancient churches and other buildings in 26 cities and towns.

    Aftershocks rattled the area, some 100 km east (60 miles) of Rome in the Abruzzo region, throughout the day.

    Local authorities said more than 130 people were confirmed dead and more than 1,500 injured. The civil protection agency put the number of homeless at up to 50,000.

    Hospital sources told ANSA news agency more than 150 people had died, while the website of the daily Corriere della Sera said 250 people were still missing, raising fears that the death toll could rise substantially.

    "It's been such a hard and long day. Now that we are sitting here in our car it's all beginning to sink in," said L'Aquila resident Piera Colucci as she prepared to sleep in her vehicle.

    Rescue workers using powerful floodlights and bulldozers said they would keep searching for survivors through the night. After digging in the rubble all day, a fireman recounted how he had pulled a boy alive from the mangled remains of his house.

    "All we could see was his head sticking from the rubble, his entire body was buried. We kept digging, picking piece by piece of debris and we finally managed to get him out -- when we did the fatigue was great but so was our joy," he said.

    Thousands of tents were put up in parks and on football pitches to shelter the homeless for the night and hotels on the Adriatic coast were requisitioned.


    Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi declared a national emergency and flew to the disaster zone, cancelling a trip to Moscow. He later said his cabinet was providing 30 million euros ($40 million) for immediate assistance and expected a special European Union fund to contribute hundreds of millions more.

    "Tonight, don't go back to your houses, it could be dangerous," he said in a message to residents broadcast on state television.

    Shaken survivors described the quake striking them like a bomb in the middle of the night and the anguish of not knowing the fate of loved ones.

    "I only remember this huge rumble and then someone dragged me out, but I don't know what happened to my wife and three-year-old son," said 35-year-old Stefano Esposito.

    Most of the dead were in L'Aquila, a city of 68,000, where streets were strewn with rubble and old buildings crumbled like straw houses. Some nearby towns were all but destroyed.

    In the village of Onna, which counts 250 residents, at least 24 people died. Wooden coffins were placed on communal ground.

    As messages of condolences poured in from across the world, usually squabbling Italian politicians put aside their rivalries and united in mourning.

    But there was still room for controversy. Weeks before the disaster, an Italian scientist had predicted a major quake around L'Aquila, based on concentrations of radon gas found around seismically active areas.

    He was reported to police for "spreading alarm" and was forced to remove his findings from the Internet. Civil Protection assured locals at the end of March that tremors being felt were "absolutely normal" for a seismic area. (Writing by Silvia Aloisi; additional reporting by Reuters Rome bureau; editing by Tim Pearce)
  5. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

    Mar 22, 2009
    Likes Received:

    You live in Italy, did you migrate there , DAREDEVIL ?

    However , in anywhere loss of human life is a loss and sorrowful , as all are we humans, and my heart is for the dead in the quake and their families. I pray to almighty for the dead, may their soul rest in piece.


  6. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

    Apr 5, 2009
    Likes Received:
    ^^I'm a student here. The earthquake happened a little south to me in the central Italy. Yes it is very sad to see this.
  7. ZOOM

    ZOOM Founding Member

    Feb 17, 2009
    Likes Received:
    Oh, very devastating earthquake and that also in Europe, a kind a landscape which I never heard about its involvement in earthquake like calamity.

    Since Italy is heaven of ancient monument which has a heritage value and major tourist attraction, I am fearing about their saftey.
  8. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

    Mar 22, 2009
    Likes Received:
    More update from AP. According to AP an aftershock measuring 4.9 hit Italy.

    The link and the report from AP follows:


    4.9 aftershock hits Italian quake region

    By MARTA FALCONI – 25 minutes ago

    L'AQUILA, Italy (AP) — A strong aftershock sent firefighters and rescuers scrambling Tuesday morning from a collapsed dormitory where they have been working frantically to find university students trapped by the powerful earthquake that devastated this central Italian city.

    As many as four students could be inside the building, officials said. Emergency workers were hunting for as many as 30 people pinned under rubble elsewhere in L'Aquila, a historic city of some 70,000 people that sits near the epicenter of Italy's worst quake in three decades.

    Rescuers worked overnight inside the four-story dormitory and pulled two bodies from the rubble. They ran out, appearing confused, when the 4.9-magnitude aftershock hit at 11:26 a.m.

    There have been a series of aftershocks since the 6.3 quake early Monday killed at least 179 people, injured more than 1,500 and left tens of thousands homeless. Tuesday's aftershock appeared strongest in L'Aquila, a city of Romanesque, Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance architectural treasures in a valley surrounded by the snowcapped Apennine mountains.

    Two buildings in Pettino, a suburb of L'Aquila, collapsed following the aftershock, the news agency ANSA reported, citing fire officials. No one was believed to be inside either building.

    The ground shook in the nearly leveled town of Onna, about six miles (10 kilometers) away, but caused no panic.

    Rescuers in L'Aqulia returned to the rescue effort, scooping through piles of rubble with their hands and where possible, with cranes. Firefighters said they had pulled 100 people live from the rubble.

    While the elderly, children and pregnant women were given priority at tent cities in the area, others were sleeping in cars or making their own arrangements to stay with relatives or in second homes out of the quake zone.
  9. yang

    yang Regular Member

    Mar 11, 2009
    Likes Received:
    I'm so sad to hear that,last year our Chinese suffered the Wenchuan earth quake,and we are still reckoning with the sheer terror the disaster had brought.Hope the Italian can get through it very soon,and be more united than ever.The Italian helped us a lot in Wenchuan earth quake,so if they want us to help ,we can try our best to help them getting rid of the sad thing.God bless.
  10. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

    Mar 22, 2009
    Likes Received:
    BBC reports that the buildings in the Quake hit areas were not earth quake proof.

    Here is the link and the report form the BBC.


    Quake buildings 'below standard'
    By Aidan Lewis
    BBC News

    Patients being treated outside the San Salvatore hospital in L’Aquila, 6 April 2009
    Patients had to be evacuated from the San Salvatore hospital

    The extent of the destruction caused by the L'Aquila earthquake is being blamed at least in part on a failure to make buildings in the area earthquake-proof.

    Experts have pointed to the number of modern buildings that collapsed in and around the medieval city, and to a hospital that was badly damaged.

    Italy seemed worse prepared than other earthquake-prone countries, they said.

    Italy has a long history of earthquakes and there are existing regulations for protecting buildings against them.

    The L'Aquila earthquake was the most deadly in Italy since 1980, when more than 2,500 people were killed near Naples.

    After that laws were introduced obliging construction to be carried out according to anti-earthquake standards, says Thomas Braun, a seismologist at Italy's National Institute of Geophysics and Vulcanology.

    'Good engineers'

    But those laws are often quietly ignored, observers say.

    "We have some buildings that collapsed in and near L'Aquila that were constructed after 1980," Mr Braun told the BBC.

    "This is very strange because there were also older buildings that resisted."

    The San Salvatore hospital, which according to one Italian media report was finished in 2000, should have been able to withstand the 6.3 magnitude quake, he said.

    Part of the hospital collapsed and many of the patients had to be evacuated or treated outdoors.

    It's not the technological know-how that is missing, it's a political problem
    Thomas Braun

    The UN's International Strategy for Disaster Reduction office also noted in a statement following the L'Aquila earthquake that "many old structures did not meet modern seismic standards".

    "Buildings are the main killers when earthquakes strike, which is why constructing resilient buildings in earthquake-prone zones is vital," it said.

    Questioned about the issue, Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said there could be "no magic wand with which we transform our old buildings into earthquake-proof ones."

    He said L'Aquila would receive the first of a series of "new towns" planned for provincial capitals, and the old town will also be rebuilt.

    All that would be done using modern anti-earthquake technology, he added.

    But Mr Braun said the promise had arrived too late, and that political failures had trumped such pledges in the past.

    "The Italian engineers and architects I think are some of the best engineers in the world because already in medieval times they constructed churches and buildings much better than anyone," he said.

    "So it's not the technological know-how that is missing, it's a political problem."

    Franco Barberi, a geologist and disaster expert, was among those complaining about what he said was Italy's failure to protect buildings that were at risk.

    "What makes one angry is, if this happened in California or in Japan or some other country where for some time they have been practicing anti-seismic protection," a similar earthquake "wouldn't have caused a single death", he said.
  11. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

    Mar 22, 2009
    Likes Received:
    Another update from BBC on Italian Earthquake.

    The link and the report from BBC follows:


    Aftershock hits Italy quake zone

    Luisa Baldini describes an aftershock that hit L'Aquila on Tuesday evening

    A powerful aftershock has hit central Italy, nearly two days after a major earthquake caused severe damage.

    The 5.5-magnitude tremor brought down masonry from already damaged buildings and was felt as far away as Rome.

    Rescuers are continuing into the night their search for victims trapped in the rubble from Monday's earthquake.

    Hope remains that more people will be found alive, as Italian media reported that a woman had been found 42 hours after the quake.

    Rescuers remove a body from a university dormitory in L'Aquila

    Two 98-year-olds survived quake
    Quake buildings 'below standard'
    In pictures: Race against time

    The woman, named Eleonora, was said to be conscious throughout the operation to rescue her from the debris of a building close to the historic centre of the city of L'Aquila.

    Earlier Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said the operation would continue for a further 48 hours and involve 7,000 rescuers.

    Rescuers said they needed to get results quickly to prevent further problems for those affected.

    "We're a bit tired," Fabrizio Curcio, director of the civil protection emergency bureau told AFP news agency.

    "But frankly, fatigue is not a major concern... We're running on adrenaline. There's still a long road ahead of us."

    More than 200 people were killed and more than 1,000 injured. One-hundred-and-fifty people have been pulled alive from the rubble.

    BBC map

    Live interactive map
    Historic L'Aquila reels
    'Cries came from above and below'

    The head of the Italian Red Cross, Francesco Rocha, said 20,000 people were homeless and it could be months or even years before they were all back in their own homes.

    More than 10,000 buildings have been destroyed - mostly in L'Aquila.

    As rescue efforts continued:

    * A 98-year-old woman was pulled out alive in L'Aquila after being trapped for 30 hours, local media report. She spent the time crocheting
    * Four students have been located in a collapsed university hall of residence, but remain trapped under large chunks of masonry, the Associated Press reports. It is not known whether they are alive or dead
    * A 23-year-old student was pulled alive with the help of specialist cavers from the rubble of a four-storey building in L'Aquila more than 22 hours after the quake struck
    * L'Aquila and the surrounding area were without water

    Serious risks

    Dominic Hughes
    Latest from Dominic Hughes in Fossa, a village near L'Aquila

    Successes are becoming rarer. At two o'clock this morning a woman was rescued by a team of expert cavers after a long and painstaking operation to remove huge slabs of concrete.

    But with every passing hour the likelihood of finding survivors is reduced.

    Apart from the search for survivors the most urgent task is to find some kind of accommodation for thousands of people who are now unable to return to their damaged homes.

    Earlier Mr Berlusconi, appearing at a news conference in L'Aquila, thanked all involved in the rescue effort.

    "There have been serious risks for the lives of those who are carrying out the rescue operation so far, inside buildings that have been damaged and, following another tremor, could easily collapse," he said.

    "So therefore this is a very dangerous situation for the rescuers."

    He said that starting from Wednesday specialists would start checking individual buildings.

    Quake woman saved after 42 hours

    Mr Berlusconi has refused foreign aid, saying Italians were "proud people" and had sufficient resources to deal with the crisis.

    But AFP news agency quoted him as saying he could accept funds from Washington to help restore historical buildings.

    Between 3,000 and 10,000 buildings are thought to have been damaged in L'Aquila, making the 13th-Century city of 70,000 uninhabitable for some time.

Share This Page