"It's As If The Whole City Fell Down" - Towns Collapse After Strongest Quake In 35 Years Hits Italy

Tyler Durden's picture

On Wednesday, when we reported on the latest set of powerful, shallow quakes to strike central Italy, which themselves were aftershocks of the deadly August 24 earthquake which killed 300 people and injured many more, we quoted Salvatore Mazza, the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology who said that "The earthquake today has further disrupted the tectonic plates, and in the coming hours we may see aftershocks of today’s earthquake on top of those from August 24", and concluded that it is likely that more quakes are coming.

We didn't have long to wait, and overnight central Italy was hit by another powerful earthquake Sunday, toppling buildings that had recently withstood other major quakes and sending panicked residents back into the streets, but luckily causing no immediate loss of life. That there were no reports of deaths was largely due to the fact that thousands of residents left their homes after two strong jolts last week shook the same mountainous area.

As AP reports, the quake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.6 was the strongest to strike the country in nearly 36 years. 

Some 20 people were injured, many lightly, authorities said.

The Apennine Mountain region of central Italy, located along a major fault line, has been the site of dozens of significant earthquakes, including an Aug. 24 quake with a 6.1 magnitude that killed nearly 300 people.  Back-to-back jolts on Wednesday left thousands more people homeless, but the only death reported resulted from a heart attack.

Closest to the epicenter was the ancient city of Norcia, the birthplace of St. Benedict, the father of monasticism and famed for its Benedictine monastery. Witnesses said the 14th Century St. Benedict cathedral collapsed in the quake, with only the facade still standing.

"It's as if the whole city fell down," Norcia city assessor Giuseppina Perla told the ANSA news agency. The city's ancient walls suffered damage, as did another famous Norcia church, St. Mary Argentea, known for its 15th century frescoes.

"It is since 1980 that we have had to deal with an earthquake of this magnitude," Fabrizio Curcio, the head of Italy's Civil Protection agency, said. Curcio was referring to a 6.9 magnitude quake in a different region that includes Naples that killed some 3,000 people and caused extensive damage in November 1980.

Residents already rattled by a constant trembling of the earth rushed into piazzas and streets after being roused from bed by Sunday's 7:40 a.m. quake. It was felt as far north as Salzburg, Austria and all the way down the Italian peninsula to the Puglia region, the heel of the boot.

Curcio said authorities were responding with helicopters to help the injured and monitor collapses, as many roads were blocked by landslides. Some 3,600 people had already been relocated, many to the coast, following last week's quake, and Curcio said more would follow.

Television images showed nuns rushing into the main piazza of Norcia as the bell tower appeared on the verge of collapse. Later, nuns and priests knelt in prayer in the main piazza, and a firefighter appealed to a priest to help keep residents calm in an effort to prevent them from looking for loved ones.

Cited by AP, the town's deputy mayor, Pierluigi Altavilla, said his house remained standing, but everything inside had been toppled. "It seemed like a bomb exploded inside the house," he told Sky TG24.The quake comes during a long holiday weekend in Italy going into Tuesday's All Saint's Day, when Catholics honor the dead. The head of the church in Umbria, Cardinal Gualtiero Bassetti, urged priests not to hold Masses during the period inside churches, for fear of further collapses, but in open spaces, ANSA reported.

Adding drama to the event, mayors in some towns, including Castelsantangelo sul Nera, said coffins had been pushed out of their resting place inside the walls of cemeteries, which in Italy are typically walled structures into which coffins are laid.

"The scene is indescribable," Mayor Mauro Falcucci told ANSA.

The quake struck a cluster of mountain towns, many of historic significance, already reeling from last week's pair of aftershocks to last August's deadly quake, including Norcia, Visso, Castelsantangelo sul Nero and Preci.

Some towns and smaller settlements were left isolated by landslides that blocked the roads, and the civil protection authority was responding with helicopters to help the injured, while also monitoring damage. A civil protection official in the Marche region, Cesare Spuri, said they were trying to determine if people were trapped under downed debris. New collapses also were reported throughout the region, including in Tolentino, where the news agency ANSA said three people were extracted from the rubble.

The hilltop town of Camerino, some 60 kilometers from Ancona, suffered new building collapses but no reports of injuries. City spokesman Emmanuele Pironi said the main fire hall had been rendered uninhabitable and that they had transferred to a warehouse. "An hour and a half after the quake, we can be reassured," Pironi told The Associated Press.

* * *

The mayor of quake-hit Ussita said a huge cloud of smoke erupted from the crumbled buildings. "It's a disaster, a disaster!" Mayor Marco Rinaldi told ANSA. "I was sleeping in the car and I saw hell."

The dramatic statements continued: in Arquata del Tronto, which had been devastated by the Aug. 24 earthquake that killed nearly 300 people, Arquata Mayor Aleandro Petrucci said, "There are no towns left."

"Everything came down," he said.

The quake sent boulders raining onto state highways and smaller roads, forcing closures throughout the quake zone that was impeding access to hard-hit cities such as Norcia. Traffic was being diverted to other roads. The Salaria highway, one of the main highways in the region, was closed at certain points as it was after Wednesday's quakes.

In addition, Italy's rail line said some local lines in Umbria and Le Marche were closed as a precaution. The quake forced the temporary closure of some of Rome's most important tourist sites, including the presidential palace, so authorities could check for damage.

The St. Paul Outside the Walls basilica was closed for several hours after some plaster fell, but was later reopened. Vatican firefighters conducted checks at St. Peter's Basilica and the Vatican's other basilicas but found no damage.

The crowds in St. Peter's Square interrupted Pope Francis with applause when he mentioned the quake during his weekly Sunday blessing.

"I'm praying for the injured and the families who have suffered the most damage, as well as for rescue and first aid workers," he said.

The European-Mediterranean Seismological Center put the magnitude of Sunday's earthquake at 6.6 or 6.5 with an epicenter 132 kilometers northeast of Rome and 67 kilometers east of Perugia, near the epicenter of last week's temblors. The U.S. Geological Survey put the magnitude at 6.6. To date, Italy's deadliest quake in recent history remains the 1908 Messina quake that destroyed the Sicilian city and killed tens of thousands of people.

The worst news for central Italian residents is that the worst is likely not over yet: aftershocks with magnitudes of up to 4.5 still reportedly rock the region.

Italy's National Commission for the Forecast and Prevention of Major Risks (CGR) cautioned Friday that more powerful earthquakes could hit the region in the nearest future, identifying at least three areas at risk for further seismic activity.

"There is no current evidence that the (seismic) sequence underway is coming to an end," the commission warned.

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Looney's picture


The Japanese must be giggling right now, “You call THAT an earthquake?”   ;-)


Bollixed's picture

No, this was predicted in the Bible. Egotistical 2:78 - Thereforeth all bad things only happen whilst you liveth. Yes, the world doth revolveth around your generation. And a great eathquake will strike Italy thus proving we kiddeth not.

beemasters's picture

It should have been Washington DC.

Herd Redirection Committee's picture

Are they sure the quake wasn't a 6.66?

Would also be interesting to find out if the quake felt like you are riding a wave, or twisted back and forth rapidly.

Any sufficiently advanced technology will appear as magic, amirite?

Deathrips's picture

Its Monti Pasci collapsing shockwave.

Shemp 4 Victory's picture

And certainly not to blame nature. Sneaky Putin®, of course.

Never One Roach's picture

All those African migrants will have to march further north and be warmly greeted by the Swiss and Germans.

WorkingFool's picture

And after decades of socialism Italy is bankrupt, banks are insolvant and they are subservant to the whims of the ECB  / Brussels / IMF.  Print print print!

Implied Violins's picture

Heck, it isn't even that advanced:


If major quakes happen at this time around the world, especially in the USA, at THIS time in history - I'd be mighty suspicious. MIGHTY suspicious....though most are caused by real forces, they can certainly be caused or 'enhanced' by technology.

Cautiously Pessimistic's picture

Who is to blame:

James Comey

Julian Assange



ShrNfr's picture

The Clinton foundation will not let this tragedy go to waste.

Bunghole's picture

Was Putin fracking in Italy again?

nathan1234's picture

In the same lighter vein, Maybe as Pope Francis is promoting Islam. the Gods are shaking in horror

Eurotrash Sorehead's picture

Allan is punishing the italians because they havent hung that POS Antichrist yet

Bay Area Guy's picture

Jeez those before and after pictures are amazing.

Omen IV's picture

The real take away is what is the value of real estate?

could be the center of a city - prime - but exogeneous forces change the value overnight - what is the value of real estate at the corner of 59th St & Fifth Ave - after a Clinton induced REaction by Putin of a nuclear device over NYC?


should this Woman be in charge of the value of the Real Estate?

Last of the Middle Class's picture

Clearly we need a carbon tax to pay for this! As soon as the Weather Channel signs on it'll be updated to a 9.9 magnatude with 150mph winds. MSM propagandda FORWARD!!!!

So great a cloud's picture

I received down votes for this post a few days ago.  Earthquakes are able to be forecasts.  Dutchsine has a youtube channel and he's issued warnings for central Italy.  Here's the post that I made earlier citing more unreast to follow.

So great a cloud   A_MacLaren  Oct 26, 2016 11:17 PM

The earthquake that struck today will cause a mid 4 earthquake to strike in NW Italy in the next few days as the pressure transfers up the plate boundary, near Torino.  This is not a fault line but a plate boundary.  The Pressure will move all the way up the plate boundary to Iceland (mid atlantic ridge). Additionally, there'll be more 5's to mid 5's that will continue to strike in the area of central Italy.

So great a cloud's picture

Thanks for posting.  He forecasted for a 6.8 - 7.8 in the swarm location two days ago, and issued it again last night at 10pm central.

WillyGroper's picture

Dutchsince has got it going on.

They've tried to shut him up many a time.

CunnyFunt's picture

Judging by browser tabs on some of his streams, he's likely a ZHer.

So great a cloud's picture

To reiterate, these earthquakes are going to transfer up the plate boundary.  They'll be in a lesser magnitude than the 6.8 that struck today but the pressure will be headed up to the mid atlantic ridge.  France, England & Iceland all on alert for pressure transfer.


RaceToTheBottom's picture

Downvotes are good at ZH.  The more you get the better...  

CoonT's picture

There's a new toy on the playground. Won't be long until every kid's got one.......

Snípéir_Ag_Obair's picture

The solution is Italy must accept more migrants, reduce carbon emissions, and eject the Russian ambassador.

A donation to the Clinton Foundation also seems appropriate.

gregga777's picture

Another fantastic money making opportunity for the disaster chasing scumbag Klintons and their KKK (Klinton Krime Klan).

Donnie Duvanie's picture

Will the CF get there before the Intl Red Cross & IMF?

LadiesLoveCoolJames's picture

Foxy Knoxy's revenge! Take that pizza tossers.

BabaLooey's picture

Shovel ready jobs.

Thanks Earth!

Oldwood's picture

Normally I would assume this would provide needed stimulus for the Italian economy, but as their credit lines may be  bit challenged right now, the only industry to feel a boost may be the tent makers. Will we be seeing mass migration to America from Italian earthquake victims? They should come here and leave the devastation to the Muslim immigants as they would feel right at home in the rubble.

Justin Case's picture

IMF "We're here to help"

Smegley Wanxalot's picture

With a little luck that asshole pope will die in one of these. 

Jack Oliver's picture

HAARP was built in 1993 specifically to heat up the 'ionosphere' and melt the Arctic ice - reflecting heat onto the ice - 'ShortWave' radio (which has been around for nearly 100 years) uses the same principal (reflection off the ionosphere) .

Weather Warfare is REAL - although I think HAARP is a 'distraction' - a productive 'decoy' if you will !

shimmy's picture

You can be sure some libtards and climate "scientists" (aka fraudsters) somewhere are going to try and say ths is because of any changes in the climate which in turn means blaming humanity.

Funny how earthquakes and changes in the climate happened in all the billions of years before 20th century and beyond humans. A logical person would then conclude nature and the planet will do what it pleases and it isn't controlled or caused by man but libtards and fraudsters aren't logical. 

cognitive dissident's picture

that's what happens.

they live on a live faultline.

the coming global earthquake will be televised. 

Mr. Schmilkies's picture

All things must fall (hear that Clintons?)

Quinvarius's picture

The stock market is going to rally like crazy on this news.  An entire country destroyed by God?  Best news ever for stocks, according to the Fed intervention M.O.