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Italy earthquake - survivors found...

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Italy earthquake - survivors found...

Post  Guest on Mon 6 Apr - 22:41

Italy Quake: 60 Survivors Pulled From Rubble
Rescuers have pulled 60 survivors from the rubble after a massive earthquake in central Italy, which killed more than 150 people.

A survivor is rescued from a collapsed building

Around 1,500 people have been made homeless by the quake, hospital sources said.

Rescuers have been searching for survivors as dozens of aftershocks continued to plague the area hampering their efforts.

TV footage showed rescuers racing away from the rubble of a ruined house as a tremor hit, sending masonry flying.

Gianfranco Fini, speaker of Italy's lower house of parliament, said entire towns had been "virtually destroyed" with 15,000 buildings off limits.

The epicentre was close to the city of L'Aquila in the centre of Italy, about 100 miles northeast of Rome.

The village of Onna, close to L'Aquila, was "wiped off the map" with no houses left standing, according to one emergency official.

In the fields outside, row after row of coffins were lined up and officials said at least 50 of the 400 inhabitants are dead.

The tremor struck at just after 3.30am local time and measured 6.3 on the Richter scale.

Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi cancelled a visit to Moscow and immediately flew to the scene, calling the area a "disaster zone".

He has declared a state of emergency for the central Abruzzo region where the quake struck.

After flying over the scene in a helicopter he said: "At the moment 4,000 rescuers are at work and concentrating on extracting people from the rubble."

He added that a camp with 2,000 tents, each capable of housing eight to 10 people, was currently being set up in L'Aquila for those who had lost their homes in the disaster.

Around 4,000 beds in hotels in the area have also been reserved for survivors.

A firefighter searches through the rubble in L'Aquila

"The camp should be ready be tonight," he said. "The fundamental thing I want to say is that nobody will be left alone."

Guido Bertolaso, head of the Italian Civil Defence, said: "Many, many buildings have collapsed and there are people trapped inside.

"Emergency services are travelling to the scene and we are working on rescuing people who are trapped.

"Thousands of people have been left homeless and we are providing emergency shelters such as tents for them."

He added: "This is the worst disaster to have hit Italy since the start of the millennium and I would appeal to people not to go to the area."

Emergency services were also focusing their attention on a university hall of residence in L'Aquila which had partially collapsed with students inside.

"It was tragic to see. The girl has been injured and has been taken to hospital by helicopter but her mother sadly died - she shielded her from the debris" said a Firefighter.

The area around L'Aquila has been the scene of intense earthquake activity since October.

There was another smaller tremor around midnight which measured 4.6 on the Richter scale.

L'Aquila is a picturesque medieval town and has been hit by severe tremors twice before, in 1461 and 1703. Both times the city was virtually destroyed.

An Italian scientist claims he predicted a major quake near the town weeks ago but was reported to authorities for spreading panic.
As rescue efforts continued tragic stories emerged, including one involving a two-year-old girl who was dug out of the ruins of her home at San Gregorio. Her mother's dead body was wrapped around her as a shield.

One firefighter said: "It was tragic to see. The girl has been injured and has been taken to hospital by helicopter but her mother sadly died - she shielded her from the debris."

In another case, a 20-year-old student was dug from the collapsed ruins of the university hall of residence after calling his sister who directed emergency services to where he was.

Officials said that, in total, 26 council districts had been hit by the earthquake in a radius of around 35 miles from L'Aquila.

There was also minor damage reported as far afield as Rome and Naples.

Pope Benedict XVI said he was praying for the victims and officials launched urgent appeals for blood supplies.

Civil protection officials said at least 50,000 people had been left homeless as a result of the quake.

They stressed many would be temporarily homeless while engineers carry out structural checks on damaged buildings.


Isn't it awful when a natural disaster strikes? All those people who have lost their homes, not to mention the ones who have lost loved ones. And no one to be angry at because it is just an act of nature....

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Death toll reaches 278....

Post  Guest on Fri 10 Apr - 19:04

4:38pm UK, Friday April 10, 2009

Thousands of people have attended a state funeral for 205 victims of the earthquake in Italy, as the country held a day of mourning.

Grieving relatives pay their last repects at the mass funeral

Mourners, some barely able to stand with grief, kissed the coffins laid out on the parade ground of a police academy in the mountain city of L'Aquila.

Some collapsed onto the caskets in tears and were comforted by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

A message of hope from Pope Benedict was also read out. The Pontiff said he shared their anguish.

An estimated 1,600 bereaved relatives were present at the exceptional Good Friday funeral Mass.

In all, about 10,000 mourners turned out for the ceremony beneath Abruzzo's snowcapped mountains.

Violent aftershocks again hampered rescue efforts as the death toll from the tremor rose to 289.

Search continues until Sunday

The rescue operation is coming to an end as hopes of pulling any more survivors from the rubble fade.

"The search is almost over," said Luca Spoletini, of the Civil Protection Agency which is co-ordinating Italy's response to the disaster.

But one fireman said: "As long as we know there are people under the rubble we'll keep searching - even if we're sure they're dead.

"Families need to know what happened to their loved ones."

The aftershocks have caused even more damage to buildings.

About 17,000 people are now living in tent villages while thousands more survivors are being put up in hotels or relatives' homes.

Mr Berlusconi called L'Aquila a "ghost town" and said reconstruction would cost billions.

Later, the billionaire politician offered to put up some of the thousands of people made homeless in his own homes.

Mr Berlusconi's private homes include a mansion in Arcore near Milan, beach villas in Sardinia and Portofino on the Riviera, another on Lake Maggiore, an apartment in central Rome and many more.

Forbes magazine rates him as Italy's second richest man.

Pope Benedict has said he will visit the region soon.

Some of the earthquake victims have already been buried privately.

A rite funeral for six Muslim victims will also be held.

Last edited by eddie on Fri 10 Apr - 19:08; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Italy earthquake - survivors found...

Post  Guest on Fri 10 Apr - 19:08

Giuseppe Molinari, (2nd L), arch-bishop of Aquila, walks after a procession in a tent camp where earthquake victims reside in Aquila April 9, 2009. A series of aftershocks disrupted rescuers on Thursday as they picked through rubble in a search for survivors of Mondays earthquake in central Italy that killed 278 people and left thousands homeless.

Argentinian priest Andres Borello (L) walks on April , 2009 in a tent city set up following the April 6 earthquake in a rugby stadium of the Abruzzo capital LAquila. Father Borello celebrated today, which is Maundy Thursday, a mass in a tent of the camp. Jarring aftershocks sowed panic in Italys earthquake zone Thursday, terrifying the thousands of homeless victims sheltering in crowded tent camps as the death toll reached 278.

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