6.2 Earthquake rocks Italy
6.2-magnitude earthquake rocks Italy, near the city of Rieti, central Italy, at around 3.30am local time. 250 confirmed dead so far. More than 1,000 people have been displaced by the quake.
Buildings swayed from Rome to Venice. But large parts of Amatrice — a town of 2,700 known for supplying the chefs of popes and the recipe for one of Italy’s greatest pasta dishes, were left in total ruin. Amatrice was among the worst hit, part of a list of unlucky towns including Accumoli, Posta and Arquata del Tronto.
Two churches, from the 14th and 15th centuries, collapsed.
The 15th-century main gate to the town which resisted invasions and past earthquakes crumbled.
The main problem in the area was the large number of older buildings that cannot withstand earthquakes of this magnitude. The problem is that the earthquake-proof building code only applies to new buildings, To retrofit an old building is a very complex and costly operation. So it’s only done for key buildings, such as hospitals in the area.