6.6 magnitude quake strikes an already shaken central Italy

A 6.6 magnitude earthquake struck Italy on Sunday morning, the worst to hit the country in more than three decades. 

Remo Casilli/Reuters
Saint Anthony church is seen partially collapsed following an earthquake along the road to Norcia, Italy on Oct. 30, 2016.

Many in central Italy were shaken awake Sunday morning by an earthquake, the worst the country has experienced in over three decades.

The 6.6 magnitude quake struck at 7:40 am local time, injuring at least 20 people and inducing panic among residents of affected areas. There were no immediate reports of death, though the damage in some villages was still unknown at press time, CNN reports. The quake, which was felt by roughly 13 million people, was Italy's strongest in 36 years. 

Many residents of the region were prepared for the quake, and had already left their homes for emergency camps and hotel rooms paid for by the government. But the disaster caused severe damage to a number of historical structures, including the Basilica of San Benedetto, which dates back to the 14th century, in Norcia. 

"It's as if the whole city fell down," Norcia city assessor Giuseppina Perla told the ANSA news agency, as reported by the Associated Press. 

Rescuers flooded the area soon after the earthquake hit, working through the aftershocks that occurred every 20 minutes to evacuate those in and near the affected buildings, including a group of nuns. Six people were pulled alive from the rubble in Norcia, and three in the town of Tolentino, according to the BBC. 

Monks at the monastery of San Benedetto, an international Benedictine community in Norcia, tweeted a photo of the collapsed basilica. 

"The monks are all safe, but our hearts go immediately to those affected, and the priests of the monastery are searching for any who may need the Last Rites," the monks said in a statement. 

Pope Francis also acknowledged the quake in his Sunday blessing in St. Peter's Square, telling the crowd that he was "praying for the injured and the families who have suffered the most damage, as well as for rescue and first-aid workers." 

Later in the day, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi vowed to find the financial resources to rebuild all the homes, churches and other culturally significant buildings destroyed on Sunday morning. 

"We will rebuild everything – the houses, the churches, the shops," he said at a news conference, AP reports. "We are dealing (with) marvelous territories, territories of beauty."

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

QR Code to 6.6 magnitude quake strikes an already shaken central Italy
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today