Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. Earth Science News .




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Selfies and prayers as Pope visits Italy quake zone
By Tiziana FABI with Angus MacKinnon in Rome
Accumoli, Italy (AFP) Oct 4, 2016


Pope Francis on Tuesday paid a surprise visit to the Italian mountain communities devastated by an August earthquake, mixing poignant silent prayers amid the ruins with cheerful selfies alongside survivors.

In keeping with his desire to make a relatively low-key visit to an area where nearly 300 people died, the 79-year-old pontiff's trip to the shattered town of Amatrice and the devastated nearby hamlets of Accumoli and Arquata del Tronto was only announced to the media after he had arrived.

In a poignant image tweeted by the Vatican press office, Francis stood briefly in silent prayer in the closed-off "red zone" of Amatrice, his stooped silhouette framed by the shells of condemned buildings and piles of rubble.

He later repeated the gesture outside the ruins of the St Francesco church in Accumoli, having spent two hours over lunch chatting with 60 pensioners in a retirement home where some of the elderly victims of the quake are now housed.

"I did not come earlier so as not to create any problems, knowing the state you were in," he told survivors. "I did not want to cause any bother."

"But from the outset I felt I had to come to you, simply to tell you that I am with you, nothing more, and that I am praying for you."

After blessing the crowd in Amatrice and saying a brief Ave Maria prayer, Francis issued a message of hope for an area still struggling to come to terms with the scale of Italy's deadliest quake since the 2009 L'Aquila disaster.

- Embrace for victims -

"We go forward, there is always a future," he said on what was the feast day of St Francis of Assisi, the venerated Catholic figure in whose honour Francis selected his papal name.

"There are many dear ones who have left us, who fell here under the masonry. We pray to the Madonna for them, we all do together.

"Always look forward. Go forward, have courage and help each other. We walk better together, on our own, we cannot get there."

The pope's first point of call had been the prefabricated huts brought in to replace Amatrice's combined elementary and middle school, which was destroyed in the quake despite having been expensively renovated to make it quake resistant a few years ago.

Vatican spokesman Greg Burke also tweeted pictures of the pope greeting youngsters and clasping the hands of a visibly-moved middle-aged man who, the Vatican said, had lost his wife and two children in the disaster.

Francis had confirmed his intention to visit the quake-hit area on his flight home from Azerbaijan on Sunday, saying he wanted to visit "privately, alone, as a priest, a bishop, a pope."

- 1,800 homeless -

The government has estimated the cost of the damage done to the area hit by the quake at four billion euros ($4.5 billion) and has vowed to rebuild the worst-affected communities where they were, having ruled out any relocations.

Around 1,800 people remain housed in temporary accommodation -- either tented villages or hotels in the surrounding area, according to the latest update issued last week.

Francis's statement on Sunday was a reaffirmation of a pledge he made to worshippers on August 28, four days after the disaster, to visit the area hit by the 6.0 to 6.2 magnitude quake "as soon as possible."

The earthquake, which was felt in Rome, 150 kilometres (93 miles) from the epicentre near Amatrice, killed 297 people and injured hundreds more.

Around two-thirds of the deaths occurred in Amatrice, a beauty spot and popular tourist destination packed with holiday-makers when the quake struck at the height of the summer season.

The quake struck an area only 50 kilometres from the city of L'Aquila, which was hit by a 2009 earthquake in which more than 300 people perished.


Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

.


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
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Previous Report
DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Hurricane Matthew exposes Haiti's rich-poor gap
Port-Au-Prince (AFP) Oct 3, 2016
As Hurricane Matthew churns toward Haiti, the inability of the country's impoverished majority to prepare for the storm has laid bare the gaping economic disparities in the poorest country in the Americas. Matthew, the most menacing storm to hit the Caribbean in a decade, was forecast to dump up to 100 centimeters (40 inches) of rain on some parts of the country and set off life-threatening ... read more


DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Hurricane Matthew exposes Haiti's rich-poor gap

Health workers, hospitals targeted in Syria war

1 dead, dozens missing after China landslides: reports

27 missing in E. China landslide: Xinhua

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Use of 'large open-ended pipe piles' could lead to lower-cost bridge construction

Yes, the rumors are true! Brandeis really has a space chair

Indonesian scavengers scrape a living by recycling

Levitating nanoparticle improves torque sensing in quest for quantum theory fundamentals

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Sharks: feared predator in need of protection

Deep-sea creatures are eating microplastics, new evidence confirms

Historical records may underestimate global sea level rise

Floating DNA reveals urban shorelines support more animal life

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Northern Lights trump street lights in Iceland

Global cooling yielded modern ecosystems 7 million years ago

Arctic Sea Ice Annual Minimum ties second lowest on record

Land-based food not nutritionally sufficient for wild polar bears

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Soil management may help stabilize maize yield in the face of climate change

Chinese giant turns to France to meet soaring demand for baby formula

Review of studies finds genetically engineered crops are safe

China removes 13-year-old ban on some US beef products

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Mexico evacuates hundreds as volcano spews lava

Hurricane Matthew claims first victims as it lumbers through Caribbean

Hurricane Matthew threatens Caribbean, Typhoon Lionrock eyes southern Japan

Study reveals new earthquake hazard in Afghanistan-Pakistan border region

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Ivory trade vote exposes divisions on saving elephant

Zimbabwe, Namibia to push for ivory trade

Congo train attack kills 14 including children

United States investing in Niger air base

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Why Does Dying Cost More for People of Color

World's first baby born from 3-parent technique: report

UMass Amherst Research Traces Past Climate, Human Migration in the Faroe Islands

Yes, Computing Genetic Ancestors is Super Accurate




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






The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news 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. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. 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