As another night begins, I am sure that many of us are thinking of those affected by the earthquakes in Central Italy yesterday. We can only imagine the fear, following the quake of 24th August and there is devastating damage to buildings in those beautiful little towns.
The first, 5.4 quake struck at 19.10 Italian time on Wednesday and the second, a 5.9 quake, at 21.18. The epicentre of both was Visso [Macerato, Marche] but they were felt in Trentino, Friuli, Veneto, Rome and even Austria. Several buildings in Rome, including the Italian Foreign Office, were evacuated as a precaution and today it was reported that cracks had appeared in some. However, historic buildings such as the Colosseum have been declared undamaged and safe today. All school buildings in Central Italy are being inspected.
In Amatrice - the town that was virtually wiped out in the 24th August quake - the last building standing in the centre, the four-storey palazzo rosso, succumbed to last night's quake.
There have been at least 530 aftershocks and at 10.21 today there was a 4.4 quake at Castelsantangelo sul Nera [Macerata, Marche]. At 20.50 there was a 3.1 quake between the same town and Norcia.
Thankfully only four injured have been reported but sadly one elderly person died of a heart attack caused by the quake in Tolentino [Marche]. Reports last night that a child in Camerino [Macerata, Marche] was badly injured appear to have been unfounded. No one is thought to be trapped under the rubble but 2,000 - 3,000 people have been made homeless.
Premier Renzi, who visited the quake zone today, said in Camerino that Italy is stronger than any earthquake and urged Parliament to quickly pass the "earthquake decree" which would enable the necessary funds and resources to be provided more quickly in such cases.
I do hope that it will be some consolation to the people of Amatrice to know that Sicily has not forgotten them: last Saturday the Rotary Club of Palazzolo Acreide "Valle dell'Anapo" organised an event called "I love Amatrice" to help those affected by the 24th August earthquake. In the town square, chefs gave their services free and cooked pasta all'Amatriciana and a range of pastries, using products donated by sponsors. Wine was also donated and musicians happily gave their services free. A sum of €2,150 was raised to help the earthquake zones.