Quakes take out re­main­ing build­ings

Jamaica Gleaner - - INTERNATIONAL NEWS -

A pho­tog­ra­pher walks among de­bris from the Church of St Antony, dat­ing back to the XIV cen­tury, in the small town of Visso in cen­tral Italy, on Thurs­day, Oct 27, af­ter a 5.9 earth­quake de­stroyed part of the town. A pair of strong aftershocks shook cen­tral Italy late Wed­nes­day, crum­bling churches and build­ings, knock­ing out power and send­ing pan­icked res­i­dents into the rain-drenched streets just two months af­ter a pow­er­ful earth­quake killed nearly 300 peo­ple. CAMERINO (AP): THE RED brick Ama­trice city hall re­sisted the dev­as­tat­ing Au­gust 24 quake that col­lapsed build­ings all around it, only to crum­ble un­der the one-two punch of lesser jolts on Wed­nes­day night. They also brought down a cen­turies-old church tower in Camerino that had with­stood a quake in 1997 and the one in Au­gust.

The twin aftershocks on Wed­nes­day may have ex­acted a lesser hu­man toll than the Au­gust quake that pre­ceded them, with no one killed un­der rub­ble and no re­ports of se­ri­ous in­juries. But they re­vealed struc­tural weak­ness in the moun­tain­ous quake-prone zone strad­dling the Marche and Um­bria re­gions, and added more psy­cho­log­i­cal stress to al­ready trau­ma­tised in­hab­i­tants.

Premier Mat­teo Renzi vis­ited the pic­turesque hill-top univer­sity town of Camerino yes­ter­day, which is pledg­ing to re­build un­der the slo­gan: “The fu­ture doesn’t col­lapse.” His gov­ern­ment has ear­marked €40 mil­lion (US$43.6 mil­lion) to help house those dis­placed by the most re­cent quakes, and he promised to get to work on re­con­struc­tion “soon and in a se­ri­ous way.”

“The earth­quake is putting us to the test, but Italy is here, and we will not leave ci­ti­zens alone. We are stronger, and we will make it,” Renzi said.

AD­E­QUATE SHEL­TER

The first quake at 7:10 p.m., with a mag­ni­tude of 5.4, sent res­i­dents into the streets un­der heavy rain — which au­thor­i­ties said likely saved lives by get­ting peo­ple out­side ahead of the sec­ond, much more pow­er­ful quake.

That jolt, two hours later and eight times stronger, brought down weak­ened build­ings, like the bell tower in Camerino, and ren­dered un­safe count­less homes, on top of those dam­aged in Au­gust. With no time to come up with ad­e­quate emer­gency shel­ter, thou­sands slept in their cars.

Au­thor­i­ties on Thurs­day were scram­bling to find hous­ing so that no one would have to spend a sec­ond night in their ve­hi­cles.

In the town of Us­sita, Mayor Marco Ri­naldi said his town had been “dev­as­tated,” with up to 80 per cent of the houses no longer in­hab­it­able.

AP

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