Friday, April 10, 2009
Earthquake outside of Aquila
For a week now, the province of Aquila has been digging itself out of devastating earthquake activity that first rocked everything on Sunday night, listed as a 5.8 on the Richter scale. The body count is up to 287 today.
These people know they live on a fault line and feel seismic activity on a regular basis but they continue to live there. It's part of their ancestory. They feel tied to the land. It's a horrible tragedy but they are just the unlucky generation. These shocks hit very hard occassionally and the inhabitants have to bow to the power of Mother Earth as she moves. Sometimes she swallows up buildings and people along the way.
It's been impressive to watch the emergency system of fire fighters, civil servants, rescue teams and first aid agencies coordinate rapidly and effectively on a national level to help the local victims immediately. Italy is a country that is usually a disorganized mess yet they show they can move better than Americans in real time of need. I am referencing New Orleans' after Hurricane Katrina and the US's sloppy effort.
Kudos to Italy on this point.
Unfortunately experts predict a decade of reconstruction to restore what was lost. There is also a lot of speculation that many recently built structures were constructed without respecting building norms in the pursuit of saving a buck or related to mafia construction companies. Those buildings were the ones that possibly crushed most of the victims.
I had never been to Aquila and now the art works are destroyed, in many cases. I wonder what will be salvaged and how.