I’m digressing from my usual post this week.
There has been an earthquake in Italy, and it is devastating.
Sadly, many of the buildings have been utterly flattened!
I have five (5) favourite countries in the world, and Italy is one of them!
Our deepest sympathies are with the Italian people and everyone affected by the terrible earthquake.
Italy, otherwise known as the Italian Republic, is a country based in Europe, and is sometimes referred to as lo Stivale or the boot.
It has 61 million inhabitants, and is the third most populous EU member state.
Italy is one of my favourite countries and I have visited many parts such as Rome, Milan, Pisa, Florence, Trento, Siena, the Vatican City, Lake Garda, Cinque Terre, and Tuscany.
SO WHAT HAPPENED?
In the early hours of 24.08.16, central Italy was hit by a magnitude 6.2 earthquake, leaving at least 290 people dead and many more trapped under rubble!
The quake happened at 03.36 local time (01.36 GMT) on Wednesday, at a shallow depth of 10km, with some buildings shaking for 20 seconds. Survivors however, were rattled by a 4.5 magnitude aftershock on Thursday morning!
A number of towns and villages in the regions of Umbria, Lazio and Le Marche, about 65 miles north-east of Rome, were terribly affected with the mayor of Amatrice, in Lazio stating gravely that “half the town is gone!”
More than 4,300 emergency service workers have been summoned to the region, and are using heavy equipment, and their bare hands to shift the debris.
WHERE IS THIS REGION?
The town and villages affected are in Umbria, known as the “green heart” of Italy.
Umbria was once regarded as the side-kick of Tuscany, but in recent years, has raised its profile with intimate and easily visited hill towns of Perugia (the capital), Assisi, Todi and Norcia.
WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT UMBRIA?
Umbria is a region in central Italy.
It is the only Italian region having neither a coastline nor a border with other countries, and includes Lake Trasimeno, Cascata delle Marmore, otherwise known as Marmore’s Falls, and the River Tiber.
The regional capital is Perugia.
Umbria is characterized by hills and historical towns such as Perugia (the capital), Assisi (a World Heritage Site associated with St. Francis of Assisi), and Norcia (the hometown of St. Benedict!)
Umbria is also known for its food, wine, culture, architecture, landscape, traditions, and history.
ARE EARTHQUAKES IN ITALY UNUSUAL?
Sadly, like places such as Japan & California, many parts of Italy lie on a major seismic fault line, but you tend not to feel minor tremors that occur on a daily basis!
The Civil Protection Agency in Italy said: “Over the past thousand years, some 3,000 earthquakes have provoked serious and less serious damage. Almost 300 of them (with a magnitude higher than 5,5) had destructive effects, and one every ten years has catastrophic effects, with an energy comparable to the L’Aquila earthquake of 2009.”
Any Italian municipality can be affected by earthquake effects, but the strongest earthquakes are focused in the following areas: Northern-Eastern Italy (Friuli Venezia Giulia and Veneto), Western Liguria, Northern Apennines (from Garfagnana to the Rimini area), and, above all, across the Central and Southern Apennines, in Calabria and Eastern Sicily.
In the wake of the 2009 earthquake, the Italian government launched a national plan to combat the effects of seismic activity.
WHAT DO I DO IF I’M IN AN EARTHQUAKE?
If you are indoors:
- Find a shelter under a beam, in the doorway, or by a load-bearing wall
- Watch out for things that could fall and hit you, such as plaster, ceilings, windows, furniture, etc.
- Take care on the stairs as they could be unstable, or might be damaged
- Avoid taking the lift as you might get stuck in it!
If you are outdoors:
- Move away from buildings, trees, lamp posts, power lines: you could be struck by vases, tiles and material from falling debris
- Pay attention to other possible consequences of the earthquake: collapse of bridges, landslides, gas leaks, etc.
- Stay calm
- Don’t panic
- Check the state of health of the people around you
- Come out with caution and put on some footwear if possible, as you may get hurt by broken glass
- Try not to use your car, as private transportation could obstruct the passage of emergency vehicles
- Reach the waiting areas provided by officials, or emergency services
I’M IN ITALY, WHAT SHOULD I DO?
I wasn’t able to find the English versions, but I’m sure you can translate them on google!
The Civil Protection department in Italy has also provided:
- An international hotline +39 06 828 888 50 for information
- Within Italy, you can also call 8008 40840 or 808 555 for the dedicated Lazio line
It’s going to take many years before these regions recover from the devastating effects of a natural disaster.
WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP?
Once the safety of the local people and the area has been secured, don’t run away from Italy, but go and visit the country and spend your money in local areas.
That’s it for now.
See you next week!
ITALY IN PHOTOGRAPHY: MY HOMAGE TO A REMARKABLE COUNTRY!
This article is not sponsored, and all opinions and thoughts about Italy, are my very own!
The Pop Kultur Festival is a new festival based in hipster Neukölln, over three (3) exciting days of new international and German bands, live concerts, performances, talks and reading, taking place from 31.08.16 – 02.09.16.
Berlin Art Week will take place from 13.09.16 – 18.09.16, so if you like contemporary art, this is the place for it!
I’ll also be attending the Down Under Berlin Australian & New Zealand Film Festival, from 14.09.16 – 18.09.16, which is the largest film festival in Europe dedicated to Australian and New Zealand film!
Save the Date!
September is going to be artistically creative!
I’ll be there. Will you?
If you’re not in Berlin in August, what are you waiting for?!
Watch this space!
Have you ever been affected by an earthquake? Have you been to Italy? What’s your favourite photograph? Have your say!
See you in Berlin.