Accessibility links

Breaking News

Pope Visits Earthquake-Shattered Central Italy

Pope Benedict XVI has visited the Italian city of L'Aquilla and other central Italian locales devastated earlier this month by a deadly earthquake.

The pontiff Tuesday visited several sites in L'Aquilla, a medieval walled city of 70,000 residents. His stops included the site of a partially-collapsed college dormitory, and the ruins of the 13th century Santa Maria di Collemaggio basilica.

Speaking to survivors, he called for "an examination of conscience" by builders and inspectors accused of shoddy construction practices linked to the collapse of numerous buildings.

Benedict earlier visited the village of Onna, where 40 of 300 residents perished.

The 6.4 magnitude quake on April 6 reduced large sections of the Abruzzo region to rubble.

The Italian government has earmarked more than $10 billion for reconstruction in the region. Experts say it will take about $16 billion to rebuild the area.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.