At about 4 a.m. on Sunday morning we were awakenened by an earthquake.
We live in a second storey apartment, and when the earth trembles, we feel the building sway. (Our building also vibrates when local buses pass by.)
This recent earthquake, as with other earthquakes I’ve experienced, was accompanied by an eerie rumbling noise.
We leapt out of bed and stood against the interior bedroom wall. Interior walls are said to be safer than exterior ones in earthquake situations. Then we decided it would be safer to huddle under the kitchen table.
(Image via: Mrs Adams’ Classroom Blog)
Should we run out onto the street? No one else was out there. In fact, the neighbours were uncharacteristically quiet. And the tremor seemed to have stopped.
We turned on the TV – a reflex action – but at 4 something a.m. in the morning, the news stations were not on the ball.
Should we call people? Send text messages? We chose to go back to bed. Fully clothed. We slept badly. The birds began their dawn chorus and this seemed to be a good sign.
More details came to light a few hours later.
Mantova city had not been too badly affected. But the authorities have since closed Palazzo Ducale (an historic ducal palace) in the old town centre. Some of the walls have worrying cracks.
There was greater crumbling of old buildings in villages in the south of the province, near the epicentre (between Modena and Ferrara).
Image via MeteoWeb
Across the regional border, things were – and still are – much worse.
Images of the fractured clocktower in the small town of Finale Emilia have been all over the Italian media in the past few days.
Image via modena on-line
A reminder that few things are permanent and that nature is random and unfair.