Ita­ly earth­qua­ke: Mo­re than 15,000 pe­o­p­le in shel­ters

Times of Suriname - - ENGELS -

ITA­LY - Mo­re than 15,000 pe­o­p­le are being hou­sed in tem­po­ra­ry shel­ters af­ter a po­werful earth­qua­ke sun­day jol­ted cen­tral Ita­ly, a re­gi­on bat­te­red by re­lent­less tre­mors sin­ce Au­gust.

Dra­ma­tic ima­ges from the disas­ter zo­ne show vil­la­ges that ap­pear en­ti­re­ly flat­ten­ed, with his­to­ri­cal buil­dings, in­clu­ding chur­ches, crum­bling when the qua­ke struck 10 ki­lo­me­ters be­low the earth’s surfa­ce. Re­mar­ka­bly, the­re ha­ve been no re­ports of de­a­ths from the 6.6-mag­ni­tu­de qua­ke -- the stron­gest to hit the coun­try in mo­re than three de­ca­des -- as ma­ny of the to­wns had been eva­cu­a­ted fol­lo­wing a de­vasta­ting earth­qua­ke in Au­gust, which kil­led al­most 300 pe­o­p­le, as well as string tre­mors ear­lier last week.

Ita­ly’s Ci­vil Pro­tec­ti­on ag­en­cy said that of the 15,000 pe­o­p­le it was as­sis­ting, mo­re than 4,000 had been put up in ho­tel rooms on the Adri­a­tic coast, whi­le 10,000 we­re in tem­po­ra­ry shel­ters in the re­gi­ons of Um­bria and Mar­che.

Mo­re than 1,100 ad­di­ti­o­nal pe­o­p­le are still in shel­ters from Au­gust’s qua­ke. The true num­ber of dis­pla­ced sin­ce then, howe­ver, is be­lie­ved to be much hig­her, as ma­ny vic­tims ha­ve ta­ken shel­ter with fa­mi­ly or friends.

The dead­ly qua­ke in Au­gust cau­sed se­ve­re da­ma­ge across se­ve­r­al to­wns in cen­tral Ita­ly, and Sun­day’s tre­mor brought down so­me of the wea­ke­ned struc­tu­res left stan­ding. It de­st­roy­ed part of the remai­ning bell to­wer in Ama­tri­ce, which stood abo­ve the rub­ble as a sym­bol of ho­pe in Au­gust’s de­vasta­ting qua­ke.

“We will ha­ve to start from scratch,” Mi­che­le Fran­chi, the de­pu­ty may­or of the af­fec­ted Ar­qua­ta del Tron­to, told Ita­ly’s Rai te­le­vi­si­on. The big­gest loss of heri­ta­ge Sun­day was the Ba­si­li­ca of San Be­ne­det­to in Nor­cia, which ma­ny re­si­dents con­si­der to be the heart of the ci­ty. It col­lap­sed Sun­day, lea­ving on­ly its fa­ça­de and the back part of its foun­da­ti­on in­tact.

Ma­ny com­mu­ni­ties in cen­tral Ita­ly are ti­ring of the qua­kes, and so­me are re­fu­sing to lea­ve. So­me re­si­dents slept in their cars over the week­end through the tre­mors.

“Eve­ry­o­ne has been sus­pen­ded in a ne­ver-en­ding sta­te of fear and stress. They are at their wits’ end,” Bis­hop Re­na­to Boc­ca­r­do of Nor­cia told Reu­ters.

Mi­che­le Fran­chi, the de­pu­ty may­or of Ar­qua­ta del Tron­to, told Rai te­le­vi­si­on: “This mor­ning’s qua­ke has hit the few things that we­re left stan­ding. We will ha­ve to start from scratch.”

The qua­ke was felt as far north as the Alps, Cur­cio said, and as far south as Ro­me, so­me 90 ki­lo­me­ters (56 mi­les) away. The me­tro in Ro­me has been shut down as au­tho­ri­ties con­ti­nue to sur­vey the area, mu­ni­ci­pal of­fi­ci­als said.

(CNN/pho­to: tur­

Tem­po­ra­ry shel­ters set up in the town of Ar­qua­ta del Tron­to.

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