news13 gennaio 2020

105 years after the Marsica earthquake

A historical emergency still alive in the memory of the population of the affected territories.

On January 13, 1915 a violent shock struck central Italy. At 7.53 a.m. the earthquake, with an epicentre in the Fucino Plain, struck Abruzzo with a force greater than the 11th degree of the Mercalli Scale.

Marsica, densely populated and full of residential areas, collapsed after the earthquake. The number of victims is shocking. In Avezzano, one of the worst affected areas, there are less than a thousand survivors out of more than 11,000 inhabitants. Enormous losses are also recorded in Collarmele, San Benedetto dei Marsi, Paterno, Ortucchio, Gioia dei Marsi and in all the other localities of the Plain and the Liri Valley. Overall, more that 30 thousand people lose their lives. It seemed a war scenario described by the "reporters" at the time.

Early in the morning of January 14, twenty-four hours after the earthquake, the first aid started to come from Rome and the nearest L'Aquila. They stop in Avezzano, and for days they cannot even reach the other affected centres. The few troops sent on site - Carabinieri, sappers and military personnel - work in extreme conditions, and proceed tirelessly through the rubble, in the light of torches and under the snow, in search of the last survivors.

The Red Cross sets up field hospitals, the most seriously wounded are transported to Rome, but less than a month after the catastrophe, the earthquake was already forgotten by the Italy of Cadorna, projected towards the Great War, which adds desperation to despair, and calls even the young survivors from Abruzzo to arms.

Also this year, the CAI of Avezzano organized a "torchlight procession of memory" to commemorate the Marsica earthquake 105 years later. An official celebration that aims, at the same time, to nourish among the new generations the memory of this dramatic event, with a view to awareness and knowledge of the territory, its history and the risks to which it is exposed.