Rescuers in central Italy continue to search for possible survivors in
the rubble of Monday's earthquake as funerals begin for the victims of
the disaster. So far, the death toll is 279, which includes at least
20 children. Local and government authorities have introduced anti-looting patrols in the
quake-stricken area to protect the belongings of displaced residents.
The earth continues to shake in the central Italian region of Abruzzo,
already devastated by Monday's early morning earthquake. Every new
aftershock terrifies the thousands living in the many tent cities set
up by Italy's civil protection department.
continue to work tirelessly in an effort to find any possible
survivors, which may be trapped in the rubble. But no one has been
pulled out alive since Tuesday night.
Heavy machinery and sniffer dogs are being used. One firefighter explains how useful the dogs can be.
says that in an emergency dogs are really man's best friend. They run
dangers that man cannot run. They can reach places which man cannot.
Dogs have 6,000 receptors in their nose and manage to smell odors that
we do not even suspect.
The whole of the historic center of
l'Aquila has been closed to the public following the most recent
after-shocks for fear of new collapses. Government and local
authorities have introduced anti-looting patrols in the area to protect
the belonging of displaced residents.
One woman says she left
behind her whole life. She says that when it ends, if God wishes, she
will return to her home. What else can one do?
have already started holding private funeral services for the victims
of the quake. A mass funeral for between 100 and 150 of those who were
killed will be held Friday in l'Aquila.
Bertone, the Vatican's secretary of state, will preside over
the mass, which required a special dispensation because mass is not
usually celebrated on Good Friday.
Meanwhile at the Vatican,
Pope Benedict celebrated a Holy Thursday Mass that included the
traditional blessing of holy oils, some of which the church will send
to the earthquake zone. The pope has said he plans to tour the
quake-stricken area after Easter Sunday.