Severe Earthquake Hits Island of Ischia, Italy

An earthquake of magnitude 4.0 struck near the island of Ischia, killing two women and injuring at least three dozen

The earthquake hit on Monday around 9 p.m. and caused a lot of damage to the area around the towns of Casmicciola and Lacco Ameno. There, a few buildings crumbled and roofs collapsed. 2,600 residents were evacuated from the two towns. Moreover, a spokeswoman for the national Civil Protection Department mentioned that the damage was “present and visible”. Check-ups were made in other towns on the island, but no major collapses or victims were reported.

Rescue teams searched all night for survivors. Three children were found trapped under a building; the youngest, a 7-month-old, was freed in the morning. The third one, aged 11, was removed from the rubble on Tuesday, 16 hours after the earthquake took place. The Italian media showed the boy covered in dust, being whisked on a stretcher to a waiting ambulance.

Fortunately, no one has been reported missing.

Meanwhile, more than a thousand people were transported off the island during the night and hundreds of others gathered at ports on Tuesday morning, waiting for the next ferry.

Sadly, not many of them were able to collect their belongings, due to the fact that access to holiday homes in the earthquake area was blocked while firefighters tried to verify the stability of the island’s hotels.

Angelo Borrelli, head of the Civil Protection Department, said that the teams of technicians would verify whether the hotels were stable enough to host the entire displaced population.

However, discussions have been brought up regarding the damage that a 4.0 earthquake did to the island, as it was not such a severe one. Carlo Doglioni, president of the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology, said that a 4.0 magnitude earthquake is “light, and if there was damage, it was because it was superficial, five kilometers below ground.” He also added that the temblor was concentrated in an area where the ground was not consolidated, but rather fragile, “which makes buildings more vulnerable.”