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Earthquake Aftershocks Bedevil Central Italy

  • VOA News

A destroyed house in the village of Pretare, near Arquata del Tronto, Italy, Nov. 1, 2016. Earthquake aftershocks gave central Italy no respite on Tuesday, haunting a region where thousands of people were left homeless and frightened by a massive weekend tremor that razed centuries-old towns.

A destroyed house in the village of Pretare, near Arquata del Tronto, Italy, Nov. 1, 2016. Earthquake aftershocks gave central Italy no respite on Tuesday, haunting a region where thousands of people were left homeless and frightened by a massive weekend tremor that razed centuries-old towns.

As Italy observed the religious holiday of All Saints' Day Tuesday, earthquake aftershocks again hit the central region, where thousands of people were left homeless by a 6.6-magnitude tremor that destroyed centuries-old towns on the weekend.

Aftershocks were coming at a rate of several per hour in the mountainous region 100 kilometers north of Rome, Italy's national geological institute said.

More than 1,100 tremors have been registered since Sunday's quake, the strongest to hit Italy in 36 years.

Macerata, Perugia, Castel Santangelo sul Nera, Visso, Ussita and Norcia, Italy

Macerata, Perugia, Castel Santangelo sul Nera, Visso, Ussita and Norcia, Italy



The strongest aftershock, at magnitude-4.8, hit at about 9:00 a.m. (local time) Tuesday morning and caused buildings to collapse in Ancona and Perugia, Italian news agency ANSA reported. It was felt as far away as Rome.

Firefighters take care of a woman following an earthquake in Norcia, Italy, Oct. 30, 2016.

Firefighters take care of a woman following an earthquake in Norcia, Italy, Oct. 30, 2016.



15,000 people are in need of housing, according to Italian civil protection officials, in addition to the 2,000 who remained displaced from the first quake in August, which left 300 dead.

The civil protection agency estimates that a total of about 100,000 people have been affected in some way by Sunday's quake.

Officials visit area

Prime Minister Matteo Renzi went to Perugia Tuesday and President Sergio Mattarella is expected to visit affected areas Wednesday.

Renzi unveiled plans Monday to rebuild large swaths of mountainous central Italy. Among the key provisions is the promise to provide shipping containers for people to live in while permanent housing is constructed.

Renzi said the shipping containers will be in place by December, and he said residents can expect new wooden house construction to be completed by mid-2017.

Renzi spoke in Rome, as the scope of Sunday's 6.6 magnitude quake became evident, and as emergency workers scrambled to provide immediate aid to thousands of residents already traumatized by smaller temblors last week.

Pledge to rebuild

"We will rebuild everything," Renzi vowed, describing the culturally significant areas northeast of Rome as "territories of beauty."

No deaths or serious injuries have been reported, largely, authorities say, because so many residents of the region were relocated after the August 24 earthquake that rocked Amatrice.

An aerial view of the destroyed hilltop town of Amatrice after an earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.6 struck central Italy, Oct. 30, 2016.

An aerial view of the destroyed hilltop town of Amatrice after an earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.6 struck central Italy, Oct. 30, 2016.

The epicenter of Sunday's quake was 70 kilometers southwest of the central city of Perugia and close to the town of Norcia, where already skittish residents saw churches and the 14th century Basilica of St. Benedict heavily damaged on Sunday. A historic cathedral known for its 15th century frescoes also was destroyed.

An estimated 4,000 people in and around Norcia have been relocated to hotels on the Adriatic coast, where they joined more than 1,000 others still displaced by the Amatrice quake in August.

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