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Photos byValeria Fornarelli

Survivors of the Italian earthquake

by Valeria Marchetti

The earthquake that shook the centre of Italy on April 6, 2009 has been defined as a nightmare with open eyes, a catastrophe that provoked death and destruction.

Skinflint contacted two families who survived the earthquake who are living in Rome hosted by friends.

The Franchi family lived in Lā€™ Aquila, a city in the centre of Italy where the earthquake hit most severely. Their beautiful home in the city centre is now but a heap of rubble.

Marzia Franchi, told Skinflint, "It was more or less 3 am, my husband Mario and I were sleeping, when I felt the bed tremble. At first I thought that a crane was throwing down the house, I thought I was dreaming."

Mario, added "I immediately knew that something serious was happening. I told my wife to get out, then I picked up my two year old son Charles, and we ran to the street. Ten minutes after our house was crumbled like a biscuit.ā€

"Thank God I still have my husband and my child. Many of our friends and colleagues are lost," Marzia said.

"Every day I go to see my house again, or at least what remains of it. I also try to help to dig in the hope of still finding someone alive under the rubbles," Mario admitted.

Another family's loss

The Mariotti family suffered the same fate. Another family's life shattered by the earthquake.

Sarah Mariotti shared, "Fortunately I only suffered some wounds, but I lost everything. My house, my job... all of my world is collapsed."

Serviano Mariotti, her husband said, "I am desperate, if I think about what my life is like now, it seems to me a terrible dream, instead it is a horrendous reality."

The unheeded prophecy

A video that appeared on YouTube shows an interview with Giampaolo Giuliani, a research technician from the Italian National Seismic laboratory in Abruzzo.

A week before the earthquake, Mr Giuiliani predicted the tragedy and he immediately reported it to the relevant authorities.

According to Il Corriere della Sera, an Italian daily, on March 31 The head of the civil protection, Giulio Bertolaso called Giuliani an idiot for spreading false news and for trying to alarm the population.

Now we know that Mr Giuliani was right but unfortunately nobody took his words seriously.

The details

The Seismic intensity of the earthquake reached 6.3 on the Richter scale. It killed at least 207 people, wounded 1500 and left 17,000 homeless.


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