Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Italy earthquakes 2012

Italy, as you may know, is highly prone to earthquakes. All over (some regions more than others). Just three years ago they had the disastrous L'Aquila quake in Abruzzo. Now we have a series of earthquakes in Emilia (the Northern region of which Bologna is the capital), with two major shocks on the 20th and the 29th of this month. Dozens of aftershocks have followed, and experts maintain that repeated earthquakes (as opposed to aftershocks) may go on for years. Although we all know the science of seismic forecasting is shaky (no pun intended).

As of this writing, there are 17 dead, hundreds wounded, and over 15,000 evacuees. Of course there has been widespread damage, especially in the province of Modena, an area I like very much. A small town named Cavezzo has practically been demolished. The town of Mirandola, made famous by Renaissance genius Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, has also been badly damaged, with the church of San Francesco almost completely gone apart from the facade, and the roof of the Cathedral (designed by two other Pico brothers) collapsed. The region's florid and world-famous food production has also been hit, including Parmigiano and balsamic vinegar. Ferrari has closed its factory and evacuated personnel.

The Italian government and economy, already in crisis, has raised the price of gas (UK petrol). If you are interested in donating, I've found this Italian blog page with specific info on how to donate to Emilia, including Italian Red Cross contacts. In the States, you can also donate via the American Red Cross International Response Fund- ARC says they are committed to honoring donor intent. So you could specify, at the time of donation, that you wish your contribution be used for the Italy/Emilia earthquakes May 2012. I imagine that the Red Crosses of other countries would have the same policy.

See more coverage at La Repubblica's site, including these videos. (Photo above from La Repubblica)