We had more earthquakes in northern Italy yesterday and overnight.
This time round, panic levels have been more palpable.
Colleagues and students who live close to the epicentre (in the south of the province of Mantova) have texted me with messages like:
“io sono abbastanza nel panico” (I’m in a bit of a panic.)
“mi sono spaventata molto” (I’m really scared.)
“ci siamo presi un grande spavento” (We’ve had a big scare here.)
Other people have told me they slept overnight in their cars or out in the open, so terrified were they that their homes would be reduced to rubble.
Tragically about 17 people have lost their lives – at least 10 of them were at work at the time. Their work buildings were clearly not earthquake proof and all workers should have been evacuated. (The finger pointing and blame-game has only just begun. )
It is of no comfort to hear seismologists say: “this area hasn’t been seismically active for a long time” (Discovery news) or: “This earthquake was a rare event, but not a surprising one” (nature.com).
The worst of it is that seismology experts are saying another earthquake could happen at any time. Well they would, wouldn’t they! That totally covers their a***.
I was particularly struck by the image below from today.it, taken in the province of Modena.