Tuesday, April 7, 2009


A 6.3-magnitude earthquake struck the medieval hill towns of the mountainous Abruzzo region east of Rome early Monday morning. Death and destruction was centered in L’Aquila, a medieval fortress town at the epicenter, but the quake also hit more than 26 nearby villages in the surrounding region in the Apennine mountains.

Rescuers were thwarted by aftershocks and fragile mountains of rubble. At this time, early Tuesday, the official death toll has risen to 207, with 40 yet to be identified. Officials say 15 people are still missing. The estimated number of homeless is more than 50,000, a lower number than previously believed, as many residents took shelter with friends and family.

Falling temperatures, rain and aftershocks that threatened further building collapses also complicated efforts, as rescuers used dogs to find those buried across the region. Another factor was the remoteness of some towns in this mountainous province dotted with rural hamlets founded before the Middle Ages.

To help: The nonprofit National Italian American Foundation based in Washington, D.C., today announced a special Abruzzo/NIAF Relief Fund “to help victims and their families who perished from the recent earthquake in the town of L’Aquila and other small towns in central Italy in the region of Abruzzo.” Link here to help.

The Italian American Museum has established the "IAM Earthquake Relief Fund 2009" and is accepting monetary donations at the museum at 155 Mulberry St., NYC, NY. Link here.

For more on the Italian earthquake, read the story in the Guardian.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

No comments: