April 6, 2009

Earthquake in central Italy (updated)

A powerful earthquake measuring 6.3 on the Richter scale struck at 3:32 am (0132 GMT) near the medieval city of L’Aquila, in the mountainous region of Abruzzo, 60 miles (95 kilometers) north of Rome. At least 20 people, including five children, were killed and many buildings (3,000 to 10,000) in the city’s historic center were severely damaged or destroyed. The quake was the latest in a series of jolts that struck the area over the past two days.

Massimo Cialente, mayor of L'Aquila, said around 100,000 people had left their homes as a result of the damage. Guido Bertolaso, the head of civil protection, said this is “the worst tragedy since the start of the millennium.”

See also here, here and here.

And here is a CNN video report:


UPDATE - Monday, April 6, 2009, 7:30 pm 

- OVER 100 DEAD, 1,500 INJURED
- Quake: predictions impossible
- Abruzzo Earthquake – 100 Die, Hundreds Injured and Thousands Evacuated

- (ANSA) - L'Aquila, April 6 - Premier Silvio Berlusconi said Monday that around 1,500 people were injured in the L'Aquila earthquake that killed at least 92.
''At the moment 4,000 rescuers are at work and concentrating on extracting people from the rubble,'' said Berlusconi, who cancelled a trip to Moscow to travel to L'Aquila where he surveyed the damage from a helicopter.
The premier said a camp with 2,000 tents, each capable of housing 8-10 people, was currently being set up in the city for those who had lost their homes in the disaster, while around 4,000 beds in hotels in the area had also been reserved for survivors.
''The camp should be ready be tonight,'' Berlusconi told journalists at a press conference, during which another small quake was felt.
''The fundamental thing I want to say is that nobody will be left alone,'' he said.
The premier appealed to survivors not to remain in damaged houses.
''Nobody can tell if there will be further quakes in the next few hours or days,'' he said.

- 100 dead in Italian quake
- Death toll in Italy quake hits 50
- Witnesses describe what happened