Date-Time Monday, April 06, 2009 at 01:32:42 UTC
Monday, April 06, 2009 at 03:32:42 AM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
Location 42.423°N, 13.395°E
Depth 10 km (6.2 miles) set by location program
Region CENTRAL ITALY
Distances 70 km (40 miles) W of Pescara, Italy
95 km (60 miles) NE of ROME, Italy
115 km (70 miles) SE of Perugia, Italy
135 km (85 miles) S of Ancona, Italy
Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 4.6 km (2.9 miles); depth fixed by location program
Parameters NST= 66, Nph= 66, Dmin=7.7 km, Rmss=0.95 sec, Gp= 50°,
M-type=teleseismic moment magnitude (Mw), Version=7
Source USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
Thursday, 31 October, 2002, 15:24 GMT
Italy's earthquake history
A series of quakes in 1997 left 40,000 homeless
The earthquake that has struck the village of San Giuliano di Puglia is the latest in a long line of quakes to hit southern Italy:
1997 - More than 40,000 people lose their homes and 13 die in a series of earthquakes in September. Four of the victims are killed as the roof of the Basilica of St Francis in Assisi collapses. Priceless frescoes are also damaged.
1980 - 2,735 people are killed and more than 7,500 injured in a quake measuring at least 6.9 on the Richter scale. The epicentre is at Eboli, about 80 kilometres (50 miles) south of Naples, and damage is widespread. More than 1,500 people are reported missing.
1976 - An earthquake measuring 6.1 on the Richter scale rocks Friuli in northeastern Italy, killing 976 people and leaving 70,000 others homeless.
1915 - An earthquake on 13 January shakes southern Italy. The town of Avezzano at its epicentre is completely destroyed. The death toll is estimated to be at least 30,000.
1908 - On 28 December Europe's most powerful earthquake strikes the Messina Strait, which separates Sicily from Calabria.
The effects, combined with a large tsunami or tidal wave triggered by the earthquake, are devastating.
Estimates of fatalities vary, but may be as high as 200,000.
The quake's magnitude is equal to 7.5 on the modern Richter scale.
1905 - An earthquake obliterates 25 villages in the Calabria region, killing about 5,000 people.
1783 - Calabria on the southern tip of Italy is hit by an earthquake, killing about 50,000.
1693 - Earthquakes hit southern Italy, killing an estimated 60,000 in Catania, Sicily, and 93,000 in Naples.
"The crash of falling houses, the tottering of towers, and the groans of the dying, all contributed to raise my terror and despair," writes one eyewitness.
Britons tell of Italian quake shock
8 minutes ago
Britons caught up in a major Italian earthquake have told how they felt their houses shaking violently for up to 30 seconds.
The magnitude 6.3 rumble struck around 60 miles north east of Rome, where there were reports of widespread damage and people trapped in the town of L'Aquila, near the epicentre.
Matthew Peacock, who lives with his wife and child in the Umbrian town of Amelia - around 60 miles north of Rome - said he woke up feeling a "very significant shaking".
He told Sky News: "It was quite an extraordinary experience.
"It felt like the house was being shaken from the rooftop - my bed was banging against the wall and you could hear this creaking.
"I rushed across the hallway to my son, who's five, grabbed him and stood underneath the doorway. The shaking went on for 20 seconds or so."
Mr Peacock - who said he felt two or three aftershocks after the initial quake - added: "The earth really felt like jelly underneath.
Briton Barry Raven, who lives in Monte San Marino, a small town in the Apennine mountain range 60 miles to the north east of L'Aquila - said he also woke up to find the house shaking.
Italian news agencies were reporting damage to many buildings in L'Aquila, a college town said to be popular with Romans.
Thousands of properties are also said to be without power.
Berlusconi Takes Command in Wake of Deadly Earthquake (Update2)
By Steve Scherer and Flavia Krause-Jackson
April 8 (Bloomberg) -- A week ago, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was lampooned in the press after Queen Elizabeth II publicly questioned why he shouted out the name of President Barack Obama during a Buckingham Palace photo shoot.
On April 6, when a deadly early-morning earthquake struck the Abruzzo region of central Italy, Berlusconi was on the scene within eight hours, taking command and giving the world a glimpse of the take-charge billionaire who is the most successful Italian politician in a generation.
“Berlusconi was on the spot,” James Walston, a professor of politics at the American University in Rome, said in a telephone interview. “He flew straight there and looked like he was in charge and acting fast. He looked in control.”
Before most Italians had their morning cappuccino on April 6, Berlusconi declared a state of emergency and was giving interviews. By 9 a.m. he had canceled a trip to Russia to make his way to the quake zone.
“I gave up on the trip to Moscow,” said Berlusconi. “The emergency is truly so great that it could be useful for the head of government to be there to coordinate the work.”
The 6.3-magnitude quake hit at 3:32 a.m., rocking buildings and setting off car alarms 56 miles (90 kilometers) away in Rome. The temblor, Italy’s deadliest since 1980, has claimed 260 lives.
Berlusconi, 72, today addressed the country in a live televised press conference for a third day, going on the air from the hard-hit area and saying that rescue efforts have gone well. The prime minister answered questions in Italian and French, and held up maps of the area to show where hospitals and tent camps have been set up.
“Italy has responded well” to the emergency, Berlusconi said. “There are a lot of courageous people in this country.”
Two days after the earthquake, rescue workers are still looking for survivors. Today, a rescue team pulled out alive a 20-year-old woman from the rubble of a collapsed building in the city of L’Aquila.
Berlusconi, the only prime minister who has served a full term since World War II, has been his party’s leader for 15 years, while the opposition has gone through six chiefs. He has taken steps to show he’s in control of the emergency, just as he did last year when piles of garbage blighted the city of Naples. The resolution of the garbage crisis has helped Berlusconi stay popular even as the country sank into what economists predict will be the worst recession in six decades.
The prime minister’s popularity among voters was 52 percent in February, down from 55 percent the previous month, according to a March 13 and March 14 poll by Rome-based IPR Marketing. That compares with an approval rating of 36 percent for French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
Berlusconi also hasn’t hesitated to recognize where the state has failed earthquake survivors in the past. Corruption and organized crime gobbled up billions from the equivalent of 25 billion euros ($33 billion) in reconstruction funds after the 1980 Irpinia quake, according to Legambiente, Italy’s biggest environmental organization.
Some of those victims still live in temporary housing. Berlusconi, who began his career building condominiums in Milan, says that putting up new homes for the Abruzzo victims is the next challenge.
“The reconstruction will be done quickly and with certainty, with each new job announced when it is begun,” Berlusconi said yesterday. He has proposed building a new town from scratch within two years.
Italy’s Civil Protection Agency has organized caravans of rescue workers from all over the country. Aid was initially centered on L’Aquila, the provincial capital, at the expense of smaller towns like Onna, where 40 people, more than 10 percent of the town’s population, were killed. Later, the massive rescue efforts also reached outlying towns.
Yesterday Berlusconi ventured out to the tent camps and small towns, shaking hands and offered encouragement.
“I’m here to tell you that you won’t be left alone,” Berlusconi told people staying in a tent camp near the town of San Demetrio. “I have taken over the operations and I’ll stay by your side.”
Even with a national debt that exceeds Italy’s annual economic output, Berlusconi initially turned down aid offered from dozens of countries.
After a phone call from Obama, Berlusconi said he’d be willing to accept aid from foreign countries to rebuild damaged churches or monuments.
“President Obama wanted to express his esteem in me,” Berlusconi told reporters in Copito, near L’Aquila. Foreign countries will encouraged to “adopt” a cultural or historic site and rebuild it, Berlusconi said today.
The government also brought in buses to take those who wanted to sleep outside the quake zone to 4,000 hotel rooms along the Adriatic coast.
Yesterday, Berlusconi displayed the mischievous humor that has sometimes gotten him in trouble, telling victims, to “go to the beach” and “take a short vacation on us,” or to consider their time in the tent city as a “camping trip.”
“Berlusconi can be a joker, but he can also be a leader,” Francesco Perfetti, a professor of politics at Rome’s Luiss University, said in a telephone interview. “He has great instinct for understanding the mood of the nation.”