Watchman Newsletter

Italy: Strong Aftershock Hits Quake Zone

Google (Link) - AP (June 22, 2009)

A powerful aftershock hit the quake-struck areas of central Italy on Monday, rattling buildings as far away as Rome. There were no immediate reports of damage or casualties.

The temblor had a preliminary magnitude of 4.6, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Italy's Civil Protection put its epicenter just north of L'Aquila, the Appennine city that was devastated by the April earthquake. L'Aquila is hosting the summit of the Group of Eight leading industrial nations early next month.

Monday's quake struck just before 11 p.m. (2100GMT) and was felt in the Italian capital, some 75 miles (120 kilometers) away.

The April 6 earthquake killed nearly 300 people, displaced some 50,000 and toppled entire blocks of buildings in L'Aquila and the surrounding Abruzzo region.

Even though about half of the homes in the area have been declared safe, many survivors continue to live in makeshift tent camps set up after the quake in fear of the hundreds of aftershocks that have hit the area since.

After the disaster, Italy moved the venue of the G-8 summit from the Sardinian island of La Maddalena to L'Aquila in a show of support for the stricken population.

World leaders, including U.S. President Barack Obama, are expected to attend the July 8-10 summit, which will be held at a police school just outside the city. †

Earth Changes ~ Europe