Bulldozers work to clear out Italy’s quake-hit towns
Bulldozers with huge claws and other heavy equipment clanked down the streets of Italy’s quake-devastated town of Amatrice today, pulling down dangerously overhanging ledges and clearing rubble as investigators tried to figure out if negligence in enforcing building codes added to the high death toll.
Italy’s state museums, meanwhile, embarked on a fundraising campaign, donating their proceeds today to relief and reconstruction efforts in the earthquake zone. In addition to killing 291 people and injuring hundreds, Wednesday’s 6.2 magnitude quake flattened three medieval towns in central Italy, destroying not only private homes but also churches and other centuries-old cultural treasures.
The idea is to use art for art harnessing the nation’s rich artistic heritage to help recover and restore other objects of beauty in the hard-hit towns.
Culture Minster Dario Franceschini had appealed to Italians to “go to museum in a sign of solidarity with people affected by the earthquake.” On Twitter, the appeal came along with the hashtag #museums4italy. It’s one of several efforts that have sprung up to help the towns rebuild restaurants in Italy and elsewhere are also serving up pasta Amatriciana, the region’s most famous dish, in another fundraising effort. Amatrice bore the brunt of destruction with 230 fatalities and a town turned to rubble. Eleven others died in nearby Accumoli and 50 more in Arquata del Tronto, 16 kilometres north of Amatrice.
Overnight was relatively calm, the first since the quake struck without strong aftershocks. In all, the region has seen 1,820 aftershocks, according to the National Institute of Geophysics.