06 April 2009

Quaking in Rome! (UPDATE 3)

Magnitude 6.3 Earthquake Hits Central Italy

ROME (AP) - A strong earthquake struck central Italy early Monday, killing [150+] people including four children, and causing buildings to collapse, officials and news reports said.

Several people were also reported missing in the area where the quake struck. The quake was felt in much of central Italy, including Rome.

The quake struck about 70 miles (110 kilometers) northeast of Rome at about 3:32 a.m. local time (0132 GMT, 8:32 p.m. EDT), officials said. The Civil Protection Department said the epicenter was near the city of L'Aquila, in the mountainous Abruzzo region.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the magnitude was 6.3, though Italy's National Institute of Geophysics put the magnitude at 5.8.

Four children died in L'Aquila after their houses collapsed, the ANSA news agency said.

Massimo Cialente, mayor of L'Aquila, told private Sky TG24 that two people were reported dead in the nearby small town of Fossa. He confirmed reports that another eight were missing in another small town.

The ANSA news agency said the dome of a church in l'Aquila collapsed, while the city's cathedral also suffered damages.

People were woken by the quake and ran into the streets, ANSA said.

The quake was the latest in a series of jolts that struck the area over the past two days.

UPDATE: Video from the BCC

UPDATE 2: Slideshow from the BCC

UPDATE 3: More pics from TIMES Online


  1. since you're posting I'm assuming you're okay!


    so sad.

  2. Anonymous3:56 AM

    Earthquake report from Father Michael (from the other side of the priory): At 3:30 am, I was awakened by shaking in the building, but I thought it was the plumbing acting up in our walls. Since I was awake, I decided to visit the lavatory and en route saw seveal Fathers at the far end of the hall talking about something outside the Prior's rooms. Since I don't speak Italian yet I knew that conversation was not for me, so I proceeded to the lav and then back to my room. Suddenly it dawned on me that this could have been an earthquake. I still have a website address listed among my favorite websites for immediate earthquake reports, left over from my California days, so I consulted it and as I was watching it, the report came in and began getting more accurate as the seocnds passed. That's what it was like "from my pew" sixty miles away from tne epicenter. My first nervous reaction was to ask myself who I should awaken to help me check on the elderly friars, and search the building for broken pipes, gas leaks, cracked windows, etc., but after a few moments, my clearer reaction was one of relief, because I remembered I am not a Prior anymore, so I'm not responsible for any of those tasks! At that time there were no reports of anyone having been hurt (let alone killed) so I didn't know enough to extend my concern in that direction.

  3. Anonymous7:52 AM

    Praying for all affected.

  4. Sadly, there could have been warning, but it was prevented.

    "Weeks before the disaster, an Italian scientist had predicted a major quake around L'Aquila, based on concentrations of radon gas around seismically active areas.

    "Seismologist Gioacchino Giuliani was reported to police for "spreading alarm" and was forced to remove his findings from the Internet. Italy's Civil Protection Agency reassured locals at the end of March that tremors being felt were "absolutely normal" for a seismic area."