April 6, 2009
This Warden Message is being issued to alert U.S. citizens to the earthquake in central Italy on April 6, 2009.
A 6.3-magnitude earthquake occurred in central Italy at 3:32 a.m. local time (1:32 a.m. GMT) on April 6, 2009. The epicenter of the earthquake was 60 miles northeast of Rome in the region of Abruzzo. Damage from the earthquake is concentrated around the city of L'Aquila, the capital of the Abruzzo region, as well as other small towns near L’Aquila in Abruzzo.
According to media reports, the earthquake has disrupted electricity, phone service, and other utilities. Widespread damage to buildings is reported in and around L’Aquila. Italian civil protection authorities have requested that people avoid traveling to the L’Aquila area. Americans should strongly consider deferring any travel plans to the area affected by the earthquake. Americans traveling in Italy should also consider contacting family in the U.S. to let family members know they are unharmed. U.S. citizens traveling to or through Italy are encouraged to follow post-earthquake developments in the media.
The footage in t.v. is just awful. Somehow, that this is the week leading into Easter makes it all the more devastating. Having visited so many medieval hilltop towns in Italy, I visualize the ancient piazzas full of old men leaning on their canes and chatting - the women hovering near their doorways, often knitting or snapping the ends off green beans as they gossip. That this hit when they were all sleeping in their beds seems like a curse or a blessing. Watching one of those old men being interviewed this morning while waiting to be reunited with his son, then filmed walking aimlessly and crying later in the afternoon coverage when the reunion still hadn't happened was heartbreaking. I don't know how a town begins to recover.
Apparently, there was an earlier quake 35 miles south of Bologna late last evening, but I didn't feel it.
Update: Andrea's mom felt the earthquake in Lugo and she said that her hanging light fixture was swaying quite a bit. Maybe it was those two beers that stole that experience from me. ha.