Two days have passed since Central Italy was shaken, yet again, by a terrible earthquake: on Sunday, October 30th at 7:40 a.m. the regions of Umbria and Marche were hit by a quake with a 6.5 magnitude. The earthquake was so strong it was felt all around the Italian peninsula, as well as in Salzburg (Austria) and on the Balkan coasts, making it the strongest earthquake to hit Italy since the one that shook Irpinia in 1980. The epicenter, about 6 miles underground, was localized between the towns of Norcia, Preci and Castelsantangelo sul Nera. After the initial shake, several strong after shakes were measured between magnitudes 3.5 and 4.7.
Unlike the earthquake that hit the same area on August 24th, the quake of October 30th didn’t register casualties. Many towns and buildings, however, have registered incredible damage: Norcia, Castelluccio, Castelsantangelo sul Nera, Preci, Arquata del Tronto, Ussita, Visso, Amatrice and Tolentino are among the ones that suffered the most from the earthquake. In Norcia the Basilica of San Benedetto collapsed, along with the co-cathedral of Santa Maria Argentea; the village of Castelluccio di Norcia was almost wiped out with more than 60% of its houses and buildings destroyed. In Amatrice, the belltower of the Church of Sant’Agostino collapsed.
We don’t know yet how many persons are now homeless because of the earthquake, but in his speech on Sunday morning, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has declared that the total damage is around 4 billion Euros and that the reconstruction of the regions hit by the earthquake is to be considered a top priority.