April 07, 2009

You Know Not The Hour At Which I Come

Italy quake toll rises as hopes fade for survivors - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
The quake, measuring between 5.8 and 6.3 on the Richter scale, struck shortly after 3:30am (local time) on Monday, catching residents in their sleep and flattening houses, ancient churches and other buildings in 26 cities and towns.

Aftershocks rattled the area, some 100 kilometres east of Rome in the rugged Abruzzo region, well into the night as thousands of people sheltered in their cars and in tent camps.

Shaken survivors described the quake striking like a bomb in the night and the anguish of not knowing the fate of loved ones.

"I only remember this huge rumble and then someone dragged me out, but I don't know what happened to my wife and three-year-old son," said 35-year-old Stefano Esposito.
OTOH maybe somebody knew it was coming:
Weeks before, an Italian scientist predicted a major quake around L'Aquila based on the radon gas found in seismically active areas, but he was reported to police for "spreading alarm" and was forced to remove his findings from the internet.

"For weeks they told us to stay calm, that we could live in our houses, that there was no problem. Now we see what the problem was," one female resident of L'Aquila told state TV.
Science, what is it good for?

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