Italy counts quake cost in homeless, heritage
ITALY’S most powerful earthquake in 36 years has left more than 15,000 people homeless, authorities said, as the scale of the damage done to irreplaceable historic buildings became apparent.
Although the 6.6-magnitude tremor on October 30 did not result in any deaths, the third powerful quake in just over two months has left thousands of homes in ruins or structurally unsafe and emptied a string of villages and small towns across the country’s mountainous central regions.
The series of tremors, all followed by powerful aftershocks, proved the final straw for a number of important architectural landmarks, including the Abbey of Sant-Eutizio in Umbria.
With roots dating back to the 5th century, the abbey is one of the oldest monastic sites in Italy and was celebrated for both its 12th-century Romanesque facade and its Renaissance belltower.
The national civil protection agency said it was providing assistance to 15,000 people affected by the quake, which was so powerful it caused cracks in buildings in Rome, some 120 kilometres (75 miles) away.
Other architectural gems destroyed included the 14th-century Basilica of St Benedict in Norcia and the 13th-century Civic Tower in Amatrice.
The quake was Italy’s biggest since a 6.9-magnitude one struck the south of the country in 1980, leaving 3000 people dead. –