By David Jacobson, Temblor
Drone footage released yesterday by Italy’s fire service has revealed images of the small town of Amatrice, which was severely damaged in the 24 August 2016 M=6.2 earthquake. The fire service, which was heavily involved in search and rescue operations following the earthquake has now used drone footage to patrol areas heavily damaged. The footage, which shows snow blanketing the rubble and buildings, shows the scape of damage.
In the M=6.2 August earthquake, nearly 300 people were killed, up to 15,000 were left homeless, and several Italian towns were turned to rubble. The region was then hit by a M=6.6 quake in October 2016. Fortunately, this earthquake did not cause substantial damage or fatalities, as many of the areas hit hard had already been evacuated or closed following the August event. During all this time however, many left homeless lived in makeshift camps or temporary structures set up around the region.
This footage also illustrates how recovery from an earthquake that causes this type of destruction is a long process, and the town of Amatrice will never be the same. Now, as services try to clear rubble and secure the buildings still standing, winter blasts have hit the country, resulting in the coldest temperatures seen in 20 years. This is not the only weather-related setback that has hampered recovery efforts, as shortly following the earthquakes, rain made the area nearly inaccessible.
While Italy has set aside approximately €4.5 million to help fund a rebuild of 62 municipalities, it is clear from these images that reconstruction will not take place any time soon. When new construction does take place, improved seismic standards will be used. This was a major problem in the earthquakes as the majority of destroyed buildings were old brick structures incapable of withstanding large shaking. Once the rebuild does begins, it will be closely monitored to ensure funds are used properly.
Italy Fire Service (Vigili del Fuoco)