Earthquake in Rome

I am getting a couple reports that there was an earthquake in Rome.

Any more information.

(Keep the knuckle-head stuff out of this.)

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in SESSIUNCULA. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Ann says:

    I hope there were no injuries.

  2. sekman says:

    Yes there was here’s the word via Foxnews.

    An earthquake of 6.3 magnitude has rocked central Italy, 53 miles northeast of Rome, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

    A Reuters correspondent in Rome said he and his family had been woken by the quake.

    No other details were immediately available.

    Rafael Abreu Hael U.S. Geological Survey told Sky News the quake happened at 3.32 a.m. local time.

    “This is a significant earthquake,” he said. “This is a shallow quake but there is definitely a possibility of damage and even injuries. It is going to depend on what type of buildings are in the area.”

    Journalist Nick Pisa told Sky News, “I didn’t feel anything here in Rome but earthquake activity has been going on in this area since February, although not on this scale.

    “There was a strong earthquake around 4 p.m. yesterday in the Perugia area and another last night, so presumably they are connected,” said Pisa.

  3. David Cheney says:

    Preliminary reports have it at 6.3 and 95 km (60 miles) NE of Rome

    some technical details

  4. Xavier says:

    Magnitude 6.3, shallow quake at 10 Km deep. epicenter probably 53 mile norteast of Rome.

  5. chris p says:

    As I live in California and have the USGS website as a bookmark, I found this rather quickly:

    According to this Shakemap, Rome went through light to moderate shaking. The Magnitude was 6.3 and the epicenter was about 60 miles NE of Rome.

  6. William says:

    It’s true. BBC providing coverage.

  7. Andrew says:

    The earthquake struck at about 3.30 a.m. and woke many people up. I was also in Rome during the Assisi earthquake, and this one felt much, much stronger. There does not seem to have been the physical damage that there was post-Assisi, but that could change.

    There have been a few aftershocks. The civil defence people have reported that some people have died. RIP.

    Earthquakes are very, very frightening.

  8. Matthew says:

    Fr Z, I don’t suppose there is a blessing/prayer in the Rituale Romanum for this kind of situation?

  9. Johnny Domer says:

    A friend of mine who is studying in Rome was talking with me on instant messenger when it happened. He felt it, but I don’t think it was anything too serious, and he lives about 6 km south of St. Peter’s.

  10. Mary says:

    Developments here in Italian every ten minutes or so. Victims may be in the dozens. :(

  11. Make me a Spark says:
  12. Make me a Spark says:

    OK I C there were three seismic events and the 6.3 was layered under the smaller one on the seismic map.

  13. A 6.3? That’s nothing to shake your head at, but at least it was 53 miles out from Rome, so they really only would have felt the equivalent of tremours. May God have preserved safe the person of our Holy Father…


  14. Mary says:

    Yes sadly people also live 53 miles out from Rome though. For some reason all the reported deaths seem to be children and old women. :(

  15. Matt Q says:

    Yes, the news is reporting damage north of Rome, and people being trapped in rubble. May prayers are with all affected by this.

    Christopher, a 6.3 quake is serious enough especially if the affected buildings and infrastructure have been retrofitted or built to seismic standards. This is why we’re hearing about deaths, and people trapped in rubble.

  16. Matt Q says:

    EDIT: Meant to say **have** **not** been retrofitted. :)

  17. Andrew says:

    Christopher: people are people, and so far 20 are confirmed dead, and many more injured. So I am shaking my head, and praying for the deceased, injured and rescue-workers. We remembered them at Mass this morning.

    6.3 might not seem very much objectively, but from where I was lying it was very frightening, and I am sure that those who have been affected by it in a more proximate sense will have felt more than just the equivalent of terrors.

  18. Andrew says:

    Sorry, I should have said ‘tremours’, although I think my mistaken use of the word ‘terrors’ makes the same point.

  19. Matt Q says:

    Let us offer our prayers and penance this Holy Week for these poor people.

    Here is the latest, and it doesn’t look good at all. The day is just beginning.


    At Least 16 Dead as Buildings Fall in Quake in Italy

    The New York Times
    Published: April 6, 2009
    Peri-Percossi, via European Pressphoto Agency

    ROME — At least 16 people died and thousands were left homeless when an earthquake with a magnitude of 6.3 shook central Italy early Monday morning, seriously damaging buildings in the mountainous Abruzzo Region north-east of Rome, officials told Italian news media.

    The epicenter was in L’Aquila, a picturesque Medieval fortress hill town, where a number of people were trapped under rubble, officials said.

    The situation is “extremely critical, as many buildings have collapsed,” Luca Spoletini, a spokesman for Italy’s Civil Protection Agency, told the ANSA news agency.

    Reuters quoted Agostino Miozzio, an Italian Civil Protection official, as putting the death count at 16, with thousands left homeless. Four children died after being taken to a hospital after their house collapsed, ANSA reported.

    The quake struck around 3:30 a.m. and could be felt as far away as Rome, some 95 miles to the west, where it rattled furniture and set off car alarms.

    Part of a student dormitory, a church tower and other historic buildings were reported to have collapsed, ANSA said. L’Aquila cathedral was damaged.

    Electricity, phone and gas lines were also reported damaged, as aftershocks continued.

    Hundreds of L’Aquila’s 80,000 residents rushed from their houses and gathered in the central Piazza Duomo, where nuns from a local convent attended to frightened residents, ANSA reported.

    “There are many palazzi that are cracked — walls have fallen in,” Joshua Brothers, an American missionary, told CNN of the damage. He also noted that a church in town had been badly damaged. “The bell tower has crumbled,” he said.

    He said many people had poured out of their homes after the quake.

    “There were people calling for people that they know. They were very worried,” he said. “Most people are outside with luggage.”

    People in surrounding cities in the Abruzzo region and the neighboring Marche region also rushed into the streets, fearing their houses would collapse.

    The United States Geological Survey said the earthquake had a magnitude of 6.3. It was the most violent in a series of quakes to hit the region on Sunday night.

    Seismic activity is relatively common in Italy, but intensity like Monday’s quake is rare.

  20. Matt and Andrew,
    I’m sorry. I think you misunderstood me. I was simply making a comment about the objective impact of the earthquake on the city of Rome. I am well aware that Roman citizens are no better than other people, but an earthquake 53 miles away from Rome is better than one directly under Rome because Rome is a very highly populated location, and far more people would have died had the earthquake taken place there.

    And when I say that a 6.3 is “nothing to shake your head at”, that is an idiom for “serious; not to be underestimated.” In other words, I am saying that 6.3 is very significant; not insignificant as you accuse me of saying.


  21. Mario says:

    I’m living in the Forum for the semester studying at the Angelicum. I was sleeping and then awoke to the shaking. I was so confused at first but then realized it was an earthquake. I quickly said a prayer to St. Michael and as soon as I was finished, it stopped. I smiled and went back to sleep. I didn’t learn about the events in L’Aquila until this morning. I was less than 100 miles from it. God spared me and, more importantly, Papa. I think I need to skype my family and tell them I’m okay.

  22. Crux Australis says:

    Any injuries in The Vatican?

  23. Beverly De Soto says:

    Anyone here know the Benedictines at Norcia? (American Benedictine community offering the Latin and Novus Ordo Masses, located in St Benedict’s basilica.)

    They are close enough to L’Aqila to have felt it.

  24. Mary Ann says:

    “Powerful earthquake in central Italy kills 50”

    “By MARTA FALCONI, Associated Press Writer Marta Falconi, Associated Press Writer – 1 min ago
    L’AQUILA, Italy – A powerful earthquake in mountainous central Italy knocked down whole blocks of buildings early Monday as residents slept, killing at least 50 people and trapping many more, officials said. Thousands were homeless.

    The earthquake’s epicenter was about 70 miles (110 kilometers) northeast of Rome near the medieval city of L’Aquila. It struck at 3:32 a.m. local time (0132 GMT) in a quake-prone region that has had at least nine smaller jolts since the beginning of April. The U.S. Geological Survey said Monday’s quake was magnitude 6.3, but Italy’s National Institute of Geophysics put it at 5.8.

    Interior Minister Roberto Moroni, arriving in L’Aquila hours after the quake, said 50 people had been killed.

    Officials said the death toll was likely to rise as rescue crews clawed through the debris of fallen homes.

    L’Aquila Mayor Massimo Cialente said some 100,000 people had left their homes and that many buildings in the city’s historic center were damaged. Slabs of walls, twisted steel supports, furniture and wire fences were strewn about the streets and a gray dust carpeted sidewalks, cars and residents.

    As ambulances screamed through the city, firefighters aided by dogs worked feverishly to reach people trapped in fallen buildings, including a student dormitory where half a dozen university students were believed still inside.

    Outside the half-collapsed dorm, tearful young people huddled together, wrapped in blankets, some still in their slippers after being roused from sleep by the quake.

    “We managed to come down with other students but we had to sneak through a hole in the stairs as the whole floor came down,” said student Luigi Alfonsi, 22. “I was in bed — it was like it would never end as I heard pieces of the building collapse around me.”

    The town of Castelnuovo also appeared hard hit, with five confirmed dead there.

    Premier Silvio Berlusconi declared a state of emergency, freeing up federal funds to deal with the disaster. He canceled a visit to Russia and planned to go to L’Aquila to deal with the crisis.

    Residents and rescue workers hauled away debris from collapsed buildings by hand.

    Firefighters pulled a woman covered in dust from the debris of her four-story home. Rescue crews demanded quiet as they listened for signs of life from other people believed still trapped inside.

    Parts of L’Aquila’s main hospital were evacuated because they were at risk of collapse, forcing the wounded to be treated in the open air or taken elsewhere.

    Bloodied victims waited to be tended to in hospital hallways or outside in the hospital courtyard. Only two operating rooms were working. Civil protection crews were erecting a field hospital to deal with the influx of wounded.

    On the city’s dusty streets, as aftershocks continued to rumble through, residents hugged one another, prayed quietly or frantically tried to call relatives. Residents covered in dust pushed carts full of clothes and blankets that they had hastily packed before fleeing their homes.

    “We left as soon as we felt the first tremors,” said Antonio D’Ostilio, 22, as he stood on a street in L’Aquila with a huge suitcase piled with clothes he had thrown together. “We woke up all of a sudden and we immediately ran downstairs in our pajamas.”

    Agostino Miozzo, an official with the Civil Protection Department, said between 10,000 and 15,000 buildings were damaged. He said stadiums and sporting fields were being readied to house the homeless.

    “This means that the we’ll have several thousand people to assist over the next few weeks and months,” Miozzo told Sky Italia. “Our goal is to give shelter to all by tonight.”

    ANSA said the dome of a church in L’Aquila collapsed, while the city’s cathedral also suffered damage.

    The Israeli Embassy in Rome said that officials were trying to make contact with a few Israeli citizens believed to be in the region who had not been in touch with their families. Embassy spokeswoman Rachel Feinmesser did not give an exact number.

    L’Aquila lies in a valley surrounded by the Apennine mountains. It is the regional capital of the Abruzzo region, with about 70,000 inhabitants.

    The last major quake to hit central Italy was a 5.4-magnitude temblor that struck the south-central Molise region on Oct. 31, 2002, killing 28 people, including 27 children who died when their school collapsed.”

    Many, many prayers for all there…

  25. PNP, OP says:

    We felt it here in Rome. I live a block northeast of Trajan’s forum. Shook us around for about 30 seconds. No damage. Just falling books and pictures. Jolted me awake at 3.30am. This was my first earthquake! Fr. Philip, OP

  26. David says:

    Dear All,

    There is a short news broadcast on Vatican Radio about this at the following address.

    Let’s pray for all those involved.

    God Bless.


  27. Brian J says:

    Word from the NAC is that everyone is ok!

  28. RJS says:

    In a related story the Vatican sends the Buddhist “congratulations and cordial best wishes” for the “forthcoming feast of Vesakh/Hanamatsuri” along with the hope that Catholics and Buddhists will be able to “share with each other our joys, hopes AND SPIRITUAL TREASURES”.

  29. TomR says:

    Seismology along with astronomy were long referred to as The Jesuit Sciences

  30. Ann says:

    Oh, it is so much worse than the report I read before bed! I do hope that humanitarian aid gets there quickly and that basic medical and healthy conditions are restored quickly.

  31. Chris says:

    Reuters: Italy muzzled scientist who foresaw quake:

  32. JR says:

    *At the risk of sounding like Fr. Wagner – maybe this earthquake is a sign for the Vatican to reassess how it deals with false religions.*

    Or maybe it’s just an earthquake?

    I am guessing this is what Father meant by “the knuckle-head stuff” [Yes, indeed. And I have locked that person out for a while.]

  33. LCB says:

    Form cnn, who seems to be all over this:

    It seems that more rural areas have been very hard hit (with reports of entire towns being destroyed), and it may have taken some time for information to reach city-centers and then make it to the media wires.

    Quote: — Rescuers were digging through rubble with bare hands for survivors after a powerful earthquake hit central Italy Monday, killing dozens, leaving thousands homeless and virtually destroying many historic towns. Interior Minister Roberto Maroni said at least 92 people had died in the magnitude 6.3 quake, according to the ANSA news agency. More than 1,500 were injured.

  34. TJM says:

    I am sorry to learn of this. Let us hope that loss of life is minimal. Tom

  35. Death toll above seventy. Please pray.

  36. irishgirl says:

    L’Aquila is where St. Bernardine of Siena is buried, right? I think the bell tower collapsed at his church.

    Prayers for all affected….

    Ottaviani-not nice! I think that’s what Fr. Z meant when he said ‘knuckle-headed stuff’.

  37. SMJ says:

    The abess of the Convent of Santa Chiara di Paganica (Mother Gemma Antonucci) died;
    The archbishop of Aquila is well;
    The churches of S.Maria di Collemaggio, San Silvestro, S.Maria Paganica, S.Maria del Suffragio, and the parochial church of Paganica were destroied;
    The Cathedral and the Archepiscopal Palace of Aquila were badly damaged.,frameless.htm?NRMODE=Published/

  38. Warren says:
    Seismic monitoring (world map). Click on display to zoom in, and waveforms from subsequent responding stations.

    Very sad news. Prayers rising for the dead, injured and mourning.

  39. Mary Ann says:

    150+ news pictures from the tradgedy in Italian. Can be viewed as a ‘slideshow’:

    Many, many prayers for all…

  40. Brendan says:

    Death toll above 150. Praying for the repose of their souls and for God to look over all those affected by this tragedy.

  41. Jen says:

    I have a brother in Norcia… any word how far the quake went? did it hit the abbey there?

Comments are closed.