It’s Sunday the 30th October 2016, I am sitting in my office following one of the largest earthquakes Italy has had in recent years. The aftershocks still gently rock the house every now and again. I sit here in disbelieve that all this is happening, people are losing their homes, villages, family and friends in what seems to be a mass clearing for this beautiful country. The devastation seems endless.
The earthquakes started here on the 24th August 2016, 4 weeks after we moved here from the UK, and at the time that earthquake was the biggest, the aftershocks continued for weeks. Italy was just starting to heal from this devastating quake that took many lives, home and villages. Just as we were starting to sleep a little easier another series of Earthquakes starts.
Wednesday the 26th October we all sit down for dinner, we had barely started to eat when the house started shaking, “outside” I instructed everyone as the shaking continued. We sat outside in disbelief that another earthquake had struck so close to the August quake. Surely this couldn’t be happening again! After a while my partner checked the house over, no damage thank goodness. Our Earthquake app informed us it was a 5.7 strength quake. We sat in the garden talking and messaging our Italian friends to check they were all ok. That evening there were a few larger quakes and many aftershocks, 6.1, 4.3, 4.9, 4.0, 4.3 and 4.6. Our car was packed with essentials, water, coats and blankets.
We didn’t get much sleep on Wednesday evening and as we went into Thursday things calmed down, just a few after shocks rocking the house here and there. Life was continuing as normal, like this was a normal event to happen to us. Our builder turned up at 8am as he did every morning to work on our roof.
Aftershocks continued on Friday and Saturday and were becoming less frequent and less powerful. We carried on with the building work as if nothing was happening.
7.20 AM this morning we were woken up by the biggest, loudest earthquake we had ever experienced, “everybody out” I yelled as the house shock violently, dirt and rubble falling from the roof. The house was shaking so violently that my daughter couldn’t unlock the front door, she couldn’t grab hold of the key to turn it and let us all out. The noise was indescribable. When we did all get outside, we all let out a deep breath, quietly sitting in disbelief that yet another earthquake had torn through this part of Italy. We all knew that the power of that earthquake would have caused a lot of devastation, injury and probably loss of lives. We are not sure what the strength of this earthquake was, it started out at 7.1 but was reduced to 6.8 and some other figures were given as well. For us and for Italy another devastating earthquake had rocked an already fragile county.
The aftershocks of this quake came thick and fast, and are still rocking our little farmhouse as I write this. We expect the aftershocks to continue for days. We have been very luck that we have not had any serious damage to our house or ourselves. I pray that this is an end to the earthquakes in Italy for a very long time to come.