Pow­er­ful quake spares lives, but strikes at na­tion’s iden­tity

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - NATION+WORLD -

The third pow­er­ful earth­quake to hit Italy in two months spared hu­man life Sun­day but struck at the na­tion’s iden­tity, de­stroy­ing a Bene­dic­tine cathe­dral, a me­dieval tower and other beloved land­marks that had sur­vived the ear­lier jolts across a moun­tain­ous re­gion of small his­toric towns.

Lost or se­verely dam­aged in the shak­ing were an­cient Ro­man walls, Gothic and Baroque churches and cen­turies-old paint­ings.

Ital­ian Pre­mier Mat­teo Renzi said the na­tion’s “soul is dis­turbed” by the se­ries of quakes, start­ing with the deadly Aug. 24 event that killed nearly 300 peo­ple, two back-to-back tem­blors on Oct. 26, and the big­gest of them all, a 6.6-mag­ni­tude quake that shook peo­ple out of bed Sun­day morn­ing. It was the strong­est quake to hit Italy in 36 years.

There were no re­ports of fa­tal­i­ties — a fact at­trib­uted to the evac­u­a­tion of sen­si­tive ar­eas and frag­ile city cen­ters.

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