Earthquake from a personal viewpoint

It was with disbelief I viewed the unfolding news story about the earthquake in Italy, because it happened in the region my ex husband comes from.  I have visited the city and my son lived and worked in nearby Pescara for a couple of years.  The region is very beautiful and I spent several happy holidays there.  The city of L’Aquila was beautiful and very interesting, if you like architecture, as I do.  Its origins date back to the 13th century and it boasts a castle, university and several Renaissance churches.  Some of its most revered buildings were badly affected by the 6.3 magnitude earthquake.  But yesterday, its 70,000 inhabitants were left aghast – and grieving – as the beautiful centre was reduced to rubble. Among them was Government House, a pale pink building turned into a pile of concrete and dust. At least four Romanesque and Renaissance churches were badly damaged by the tremor. The 13th century Basilica of Santa Maria di Collemaggio lost a wall, while a section of the nave collapsed. The church, with a pink-and-white facade combining Romanesque and Gothic architecture, played host to the crowning of Pope Celestine V in 1294 and still attracts thousands of pilgrims every year. Slightly further north, the belltower of the largest Renaissance church in Abruzzo – Basilica of San Bernardino – was destroyed, while the 16th century castle housing the region’s national museum was damaged. Yesterday’s devastation was a brutal reminder of how vulnerable the city is to the power of earthquakes – just over 300 years since it was virtually flattened in a similar tremor.  Apparently, an Italian geologist told locals to evacuate their houses and posted a video on YouTube in which he said a build-up of radon gas around the seismically active area of Abruzzo suggested a major earthquake was imminent. Several tremors had been felt in the medieval city of L’Aquila, around 60 miles east of Rome, from mid-January onwards, and vans with loudspeakers had reportedly driven around the city spreading the warning. But instead of heeding his advice, the local authorities reported him to police for "spreading alarm" and he was told to remove his findings from the internet.  I feel very sad so many people died and that a beautiful Italian city that I have visited and admired is virtually destroyed.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mirkosim/sets/72157616424744172/

map-of-abruzzo-map  A0YPY4car-buried_1379437c

 

 

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15 Comments

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15 responses to “Earthquake from a personal viewpoint

  1. Robin

    Morning Penny, this is a terrible disaster and i can’t believe that everyone ignored the geologist. It’s so very, very sad that people have died and so many more are now homeless. Sorry too for you. It must be a sad time for you. Take care, sending you a bit hug. Love Robin.xxx

  2. Unknown

    It is a great loss; I am always agrieved at the destruction of historical beauty. And the people; although I am upset with myself for feeling more about the loss of history than of humanity. But I understand why I feel this way; although many people wouldn’t. This is a strange time for me and as I watch world events or even people walking by, I feel incredibly distanced from it all. The people seem flat and harsh to my senses, yet I sit and stare enraptured at the the beauty of the old church across the street. Anyway, thanks for your message. It is the reason I am still here. Of all the words, so many of them precious, those were the ones that got to me at core level.

  3. penny

    Jake, if I played a small part in not letting things get to you, then I am thrilled…..you are a mate after all.

  4. Deb's

    morning Pen ((hugs))the hubs told me about this recent quake, but it was more out of shock because i had dreamt of a quake hitting near rome a couple of weeks ago…. but as yet I still haven’t seen the pictures or hear the full story. I still haven’t been to Italy, and funnily enough Pescara is one of the places i want to vist. (long story and would need a few bottles of vino as it needs to be told within the right atmosphere…lol)as for the devastation and loss you are feeling personally ((hugs))off to google it now…>>>love n hugsdebsxXx

  5. penny

    Debs, that is spooky! Very curious about Pescara story.

  6. .

    It was strange listening to the news throughout yesterday as each time the death count mounted. You just knew it was going to turn out to be a major thing. I guess even if they had had some kind of evacuation this time, could they do it every time they suspected a quake? And the building damage would still be there. The map on the news showing all the recorded quakes in Italy showed just how vulnerable the whole country is.

  7. Martin

    I have watched the reports on the news and have been shocked but to have aconnection to the area must multiply that so much more.

  8. ..

    I had the chance to visit Italy some years back and it is indeed a beautiful country with it’s breathtaking sceneries and architecture !But of course, the loss of lives it’s what made me really sad, especially in this case. All that pain could have been avoided … I just came to the conclusion that I cannot understand how people think these days … and if they really think about anything anymore.LOVE, Alex xxxxx

  9. Jennifer

    Sad story. Nature can be so mercyless… God bless.

  10. ..

    Hmmm some aftershocks today !!! And pretty strong too!!! I just hope it stops !!! There’s so much damage already – human lives and buldings reduced to nothing.

  11. Happy

    Such loss and appreciate post of reminder of people’s live disrupted and loss of precious building that represent historical home.

  12. Philip

    It’s a shame it happens but it’s life, thelocals were warned but they didn’t take any notice? Well, it isn’t their fault, they didn’t know if he was a nut job or not! I’d like to know what the Pope and his mates will do about this? Maybe they’ll flog one of their paitings to give the people some financial help? LOL! They’ll be lucky to get a visit!I only stayed away from peanuts, they just seemd to make me bad! But they are more realted to a pea than a nut, so why can I eat Peas with no repocussions? UC is a strange illness with no two cases alike. But I already decied to not eat any more nuts! Nice to hear from you Pen! I should be sticking around for longer this time! Laters love! :)

  13. penny

    Unfortunately, my brother in law lost his house in the earthquake and is now living in a tent. His wife died a few years ago and he is too proud to go back to the village he was born in. I only heard about this at the hog roast on Sunday.

  14. Robin

    That’s so sad Penny. Poor man.

  15. penny

    @Robin. Yes it is sad and he is a lovely bloke.

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