Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Earth Science News .

Italy declares state of emergency in quake zone
by Staff Writers
Rome (AFP) May 22, 2012

The Italian government declared a state of emergency in the quake-struck region of northeast Italy on Tuesday, where 5,000 people were camped out in temporary shelters amid fears of aftershocks.

The government declared a 60-day state of emergency for the area around Bologna, Modena and Ferrara and promised 50 million euros ($63 million) in aid to help rebuild houses and family-owned factories destroyed in the earthquake.

Owners of damaged property will also temporarily be exempt from property tax, the government said in a statement.

Prime Minister Mario Monti visited several of the quake-struck towns Tuesday and met the families of victims of Sunday's 6.0-magnitude quake, which killed six people and reduced homes and historic buildings to rubble.

Dozens of aftershocks have hit the region since the quake, with only two registering over 3.0-magnitude according to the Geophysics Institute.

Rescue workers in the so-called "red zone" in the town of Finale Emilia, the epicentre, said damaged buildings had remained stable since Monday, with no further significant collapses of weakened buildings.

"At the moment the percentage of houses declared uninhabitable is very low," said Demetrio Egidi, head of Italy's civil protection agency in Emilia-Romagna, where firemen were carrying out house-to-house controls to check for damage.

The region's priceless architectural treasures were worst hit, with churches, chapels and castles wrecked and famous frescoes destroyed.

"We don't yet know the extent of the damage to heritage, but as far as architectural structures go, it's been a real disaster," said Massimiliano Righini, a culture official for the town of Finale Emilia.

Thousands of people were camped out in parked cars in supermarket car parks or public squares amid fears that aftershocks might bring houses down, or in tent cities set up by the authorities.

"We hope that once people calm down, they will return to their homes," Egidi said, adding that the tent camps could hold up to 5,800 people.

Monti, who cut short a trip to the United States where he was attending a NATO summit, slept in the nearby city of Ferrara on Monday before heading to Sant'Agostino, where the clock was stuck at 4:05 am -- the hour the quake hit.

A relative of Nicola Cavicchi, 35, one of four factory workers killed, said: "It was a terrible quake, unthinkable that it should happen to us".

"It was fate. If he had been standing five metres away, nothing would have happened to him. He was just doing his job," the relative told reporters.

Sunday's quake rattled the cities of Ferrara -- a UNESCO World Heritage site -- as well as Bologna, Verona and Mantua and several smaller towns.

"Damage to businesses is going to run to no less than hundreds of millions of euros," a local branch of employers' organisation Confindustria said.

At least 200 businesses and 2,000 workers in the region would be severely affected, the organisation said. The left-wing CGIL union said the figure was likely to be much higher, with around 5,000 workers affected.

Monti's visit sparked a small demonstration by Sant'Agostino residents, who chanted anti-government slogans, complaining about tax hikes and austerity measures which they protest are strangling a country hit by recession.

"Thieves! Shame on you. You should have stayed home," they shouted, while another said Monti had just come to take advantage of the "media circus."

The disaster struck just over three years after a 6.3-magnitude quake devastated the city of L'Aquila in central Italy in March 2009, killing some 300 people and leaving tens of thousands homeless.


Related Links
Bringing Order To A World Of Disasters
A world of storm and tempest
When the Earth Quakes

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

One year after tornado, Obama sees US city as example
Joplin, Missouri (AFP) May 21, 2012
US President Barack Obama on Monday cited the courage of Joplin residents as an inspiration for the rest of the country nearly one year after a powerful tornado killed 161 people in this Midwestern town. The twister, a massive funnel cloud that struck on May 22, ranked as one of the deadliest tornado to hit the United States since 1947. Obama traveled to the town of 50,000 to talk to stu ... read more

Culture losses magnify Italy earthquake trauma lead

One year after tornado, Obama sees US city as example

Italy declares state of emergency in quake zone

Dazed and angry residents count losses of Italy quake

New 'metamaterial' practical for optical advances

In metallic glasses, researchers find a few new atomic structures

Asia's largest gaming expo opens in Macau

Germany's SAP grabs US cloud firm for $4.3 bn

Chile's vanishing Patagonian lake

'Natural causes' blamed for Peru dolphin deaths

Elephant seal tracking reveals hidden lives of deep-diving animals

New species of fish in Sweden

Russia's Antarctic probes to be tested in Ladoga Lake

Scientists discover new site of potential instability in West Antarctic Ice Sheet

Farewell to the Sun

Russia's Antarctic probes to be tested in Ladoga Lake

Great recession reflux amounts to more hunger among seniors

Earthquake puts pressure on Italy's parmesan makers

When the soil holds not enough phosphorus

North Koreans in rice belt starve to death: report

Scientists document volcanic history of turbulent Sumatra region

Stress shrank brain area of Japan tsunami survivors: study

Quake rocks Bulgaria, no casualties

Flash floods kill 19 in Afghanistan: official

45 Chinese arrested for illegal trading in Nigeria: official

Army, mutineers clash near DR Congo rare gorilla park

Ethiopian shoe factory widens China's Africa footprint

UN praises progress in Liberia since end of civil wars

Urban landscape's power to hurt or heal

Anthropologists discover earliest form of wall art

Evolution's gift may also be at the root of a form of autism

Anthropologist finds explanation for hominin brain evolution in famous fossil

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement