F. Kenneth Taylor
Yesterday, August 24th, 2016, Central Italy suffered a devastating earthquake with a 6.2 magnitude. According to the BBC; the earthquake struck less than 100 miles northeast of Rome. The most heavily effected city is Amatrice, Italy, with a reported 184 casualties, most of which are children. Additional effected regions include; Pescara del Tronto, Arquata, and Accumoli.
As the death toll reaches approximately 240, local hospitals have reported treating another 264 citizens injured in the natural disaster. Striking within an early morning, pre-dawn hour, there were minimal opportunity for authorities and news and media outlets to send forth prior warnings. Despite the lack of the ability to produce early warnings; search efforts have been maximized to their fullest potential with over 4,300 rescue workers and citizens toiling around the clock to save others.
Consistent after-shocks have created problems and hindrances to rescue efforts, but nonetheless, every means of finding survivors are being exercised. Emergency equipment, machinery, tools, and even volunteers using their bare hands, have contributed to rescue and search efforts.
“Today is a day of tears. Tomorrow we can talk of reconstruction.”
~ Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi
Undoubtedly, the earthquake has left widespread damage, despair, and ruin in its wake. The mayor of Accumoli, Stefano Petrucci, has reported that more than 2,500 people are now homeless. With tremors felt as far away as Rome, Naples, and Bologna, this earthquake is said to be Italy’s second most powerful, since the 2009 earthquake in L’Aquila. However, even in light of the unimaginable death and damage, as the quake struck during the prime of tourist and festival seasons; there’s always a shining moment. Workers and volunteers rejoiced as a 10-year old girl was rescued after being trapped under rubble for nearly 17 hours.