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Aftershocks Continue Near L’Aquila, Death Toll Raised to 289

April 10th, 2009 Category: Earthquakes

L'Aquila, Italy - April 9th, 2009

L'Aquila, Italy - April 9th, 2009

Collapsed church, L'Aquila ©Adnkronos

Collapsed church, L'Aquila

Map of epicenter - source: BBC

Map of epicenter

The city of L’Aquila can be seen in the valley in the middle of this orthorectified ASAR image of central Italy.

The death toll from the magnitude 6.3 earthquake that struck the region was raised to 289 on Friday morning, reports the BBC.

The Italian government has extended the search for people who could still be alive under the rubble until Sunday; however, rescue workers believe the chances of finding survivors to be remote and so will focus on recovering bodies and assessing the extent of the damage.

Aftershocks are continuing to hamper such rescue efforts. On Thursday evening a tremor measuring 4.9, the fourth-largest since the earthquake, brought down a badly damaged four-storey building in the centre of L’Aquila.

Some 28,000 people have been left homeless by the quake. Meanwhile, President Napolitano has said poor construction is to blame for many of the deaths in Monday’s disaster.

Rescue worker and damaged building, L'Aquila, Italy - ©AFP

Rescue worker and damaged building

Aerial view of L'Aquila ©Adnkronos

Aerial view of L'Aquila

Citing “widespread irresponsibility” in the design and construction of modern buildings, he called for an investigation to find out how it was possible that essential buildings standards had not been applied. Modern buildings that suffered partial or total collapse in the quake include a hospital, city buildings, the provincial seat and university buildings, AFP news agency reports.

Tremors Continue in L’Aquila and the Abruzzo Region, Italy – UPDATE

April 8th, 2009 Category: Earthquakes

L'Aquila and the Abruzzo Region, Italy - April 6th, 2009

L'Aquila and the Abruzzo Region, Italy - April 6th, 2009

3D View

Simulated aerial view of Central Italy

The main picture is an orthorectified Radar (ASAR) image of Central Italy, focusing on the city of L’Aquila and the epicenter of the earthquake.

The thumbnail image gives a three dimensional look at the area simulating an aerial view (the Xvid codec, if missing, can be downloaded here).

Fresh aftershocks have rattled earthquake-hit central Italy, killing at least one more person and complicating rescue efforts, reported the BBC. One 5.2-magnitude tremor at 0253 (0053 GMT) on Thursday caused damage to buildings in L’Aquila and several nearby villages. Several of the aftershocks were felt as far away as Rome and Naples.

As the desperate search for survivors continues, officials have raised the death toll from the quake to 279. However, thanks to intense rescue efforts about 150 people have been pulled alive from the rubble.

Another 100 people are reported to be in serious condition and some 28,000 people were made homeless. Thousands spent a second night in tent camps around L’Aquila, the capital of the central Abruzzo region, as temperatures dropped to 4-5C overnight.

Crushed cars, L'Aquila, Italy - source: La Repubblica

Crushed cars, L'Aquila

Collapsed building, L'Aquila, Italy - source: La Repubblica

Collapsed building, L'Aquila

Italy’s Civil Protection Agency noted that tremors were continuing and it was difficult to know when they would end. At least seven strong shocks hit the region during the night, waking people from their sleep in the tent shelters.

Between 3,000 and 10,000 buildings are thought to have been damaged in L’Aquila, making the 13th-Century city of 70,000 uninhabitable for some time.

The head of the Italian Red Cross, Francesco Rocha, said 20,000 people were homeless and it could be months or even years before they were all back in their own homes.

L’Aquila and Central Italy Struck by Earthquake – UPDATE

April 6th, 2009 Category: Earthquakes

Rome and L'Aquila, Italy - April 5th, 2009

Rome and L'Aquila, Italy - April 5th, 2009

Collapsed building, L'Aquila, Italy - April 6th, 2009 ©AP

Collapsed building, L'Aquila

Quake epicenter © ESRI

Quake epicenter

Central Italy was struck by a powerful earthquake early Monday morning while residents were asleep. At least 150 people were killed in collapsed houses and other buildings, reported officials.

The deaths occurred mainly in L’Aquila, a medieval city about 60 miles east of Rome with a population of 68,000, and surrounding villages.

In the main image, the city of Rome is visible on Italy’s southern shore, just left of center. L’Aquila lies to the northeast, in a valley surrounded by the Apennine mountains.

The quake struck shortly after 3.30 a.m. local time and was centered in the mountainous Abruzzo region. The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake’s epicenter was believed to be about 60 miles from Rome and that its depth was 6.2 miles. People in many parts of central Italy felt the quake. Residents of Rome, which is rarely hit by seismic activity, were woken by the tremors.

The U.S. Geological Survey initially said the magnitude of the quake was 6.7, then lowered it to 6.3 on the Richter Scale, though Italy’s National Institute of Geophysics put it at 5.8.

Rubble was strewn throughout the city of L’Aquila and nearby towns, blocking roads and hampering rescue teams and residents who were searching for survivors among the debris.

Officials said that between 10,000 and 15,000 buildings were damaged, and that some 100,000 people had left their homes.

Rubble in street, L'Aquila, Italy - April 6th, 2009 ©AFP

Rubble in street, L'Aquila

Ruptured ground, L'Aquila, Italy - April 6th, 2009 © ANSA

Ruptured ground, L'Aquila

Crests of the Apennines in Central Italy – July 8th, 2009

42.3N 13.3E

July 8th, 2009 Category: Image of the day, Volcanoes

Italy - June 2nd, 2009

Italy - June 2nd, 2009

This orthorectified, projected radar image stretches across central Italy. In the full image, the coasts of both the Adriatic (above) and Tyrrhenian Seas (below) can be seen.

The Apennine Mountains, a mountain range stretching about 1,200 km from the north to the south of Italy, run diagonally through the middle of the image. In the thumbnail, the city of L’Aquila can be observed by a valley near the center.

Of note in the full image is Roccamonfina, an extinct volcano  at the bottom right, near the shoreline. The two white areas inside the caldera are Mount Santa Croce and Mount Lattani, volcanic cones.