Home Life & CultureThe 2009 L'Aquila Earthquake L’Aquila Earthquake

L’Aquila Earthquake

by Sam Dunham

Following last night’s in our nearest city of L’Aquila we’d like to send our thoughts and sympathy to the beautiful people of L’Aquila and all her small surrounding hill & mountain villages.  We hope all help that is needed gets to you as promptly as possible and that the present casualties & fatalities remain low.

It was a dreadful morning listening to the Today programme and trying to get hold of the 3 ladies currently staying within our own house just 30 km from the epicentre.  Thankfully we have just managed to and they and our neighbours in the village of Bascianella seem to be okay so that is some good news on a very sad day.  Superficial damage that has occurred is with glass lampshades being shaken off the walls and smashing.

Over the past week has seen an increase in the seismic activity in the region, last week when we were back in we experienced an earthquake, again with L’Aquila as its epicentre but registering at only 4 on the Richter Scale.  Everyone we met at the time joked and laughed it off, regretfully nothing like that will be happening after yesterday. All we can do is hope that this is the last for another few hundred years.

Map of the Devastation

If you are trying to work out if your loved ones have been affected by the quake, there is 3 very good maps here displaying the epicentre and surrounding villages most affected by the earthquake and the ongoing tremors and their magnitude

Map 1 – Interactive Google map of each earthquake & tremor & which of the smaller Abruzzo hill villages it has hit, these are still occurring!

Map 2 – Again a Google map, sadly it lists the number of fatalities in each area, what has been set up to help the victims of the disaster.

On ANSA (Italian News agency which is also in English) there is a list of the damage and fatalities to the surrounding villages.

Up-to-the Minute Report of New Tremors & Aftershocks

To see exactly where the  new tremors and aftershocks are occurring there is a very good report by National Institute of Vulcanology & Geology which is updated by the minute.

Click here to read in full how to help L’Aquila or  volunteer, click here for

Finding out about Relatives

Official List of Victims – An official list of the 289 victims of the L’Aquila earthquake has been published today Friday 10th April to coincide with the funeral – click here

It is easier to email Abruzzo’s  Civil Protection using this form if you are outside .  If you are in call 800861016 and 800860146.  Alternatively anyone from any of the surrounding hill villages please do leave a comment here to let you know how your village is doing – we are receiving lots of emails about you and it is a quick way of letting people quickly know that all is okay.

Travelling – If you are travelling to see loved ones.  The A24 (the main autostrada that connects L’Aquila with Rome and the coast) is currently closed whilst the engineers check its bridges & tunnels for structural damage, you will need to look for alternative ways to approach L’Aquila if you are going to check  family.


angelina lambrix 27/04/2009 - 17:42

both my parents were from the l'aquila area – my dad from provencia l'aquila; my mom from isernia. their surnames were
cococcetta and melfi. any news of victims with these names? thanks and i still pray for everyone there.

Those names aren't in any official lists which you can read here

amanda farr 21/04/2009 - 16:07

This is very late as a comment but we have been away. Please could you let me know if the towns of Caporciano and Ripa have been affected. We stayed in Caporciano last year. The region and the people are so beautiful – I was horrified when we heard of the devastation. My heart goes out to the people there.

Barbara 17/04/2009 - 02:21

Please can you tell me if Scanno was affected in the earthquake. We stayed in that beautiful village some year's ago. Barbara

"People and buildings mostly okay.."

Marcello 15/04/2009 - 02:13

It seems the Earthquake has gone to the back pages of the newspaper on this side of the atlantic, but we need to continue speaking out about this tragedy so people don't forget!. So many generous people have offered their services , and we need to find a way to make this happen in the near future.

"We are all trying to find out from official bodies, what events they have for fundraising, where we can all volunteer back home in order that we don't all duplicate. We have set up a group on Facebook L'Aquila Renaissance, please come and join. At the moment we are working on ways we can keep this in the news, short-term fundraising events & long-term fundraising events. If you'd rather not do Facebook – it's not everyone's cup of tea, let me now and I will keep you up to date. If you have certain skills you want to offer the group again let me know so that we can call upon your help."

L and L 12/04/2009 - 19:24

We have emailed Convento San Giorgio a couple of times since the earthquake with no response. That's understandable…but a little unsettling. We would love to receive first-hand information on the convent. We were scheduled to work there in a couple of weeks, roads to L'Aquila are closed and it's looking like we need to postpone our trip. Information would be immensely helpful.

Joan 12/04/2009 - 18:46

I, too, would like to go to the area to help out. Please include me in any related info at jastonich@rcn.com. Joan

Sammy 12/04/2009 - 02:42

Hi Everybody

Don't forget to tell everyone about your fundraising ideas on this new page – the more we all know what everyone is doing the more we can all do


somebody in your area may read about your idea or be able to offer some extra skills to assist you

L and L 12/04/2009 - 01:15

Very useful in getting information; in fact, the most useful site. Thank you.

L and L 11/04/2009 - 23:17

We were to stay and volunteer at Convento San Giorgio in 3 weeks. Want to help the best way. Anyone heard about CSG status?

"From their position although I would say they have experienced damage looking at reports it does seem to be okay no mortalities, a tent has been set up in their nearby village/town, have you tried emailing them? Here is a link on Google Maps to the area where you can see what is going on:"

Michelle Vendetti 11/04/2009 - 06:40

I have also been following this very closely. I have heard that Italy as of Monday was not taking any international volunteers but I have a friend who is the Consulate in Philadelphia and he is aware of my persistence to go volunteer over in Italy. I will gladly email all once I hear but would love for anyone to email me as well. mvendetti1967@yahoo.com Here are a few links..

Earthquake in Abruzzo – Important Notice

To anyone who may be willing to contact people who live in the region affected by the recent earthquake, please refer to the following telephone numbers or email of the Italian Civil Defence Service:

Phone: +39 06 68 201 / +39 06 6820 3229

Email: salaoperativa@protezionecivile.it



Marcello 10/04/2009 - 08:35

My deepest condolences to the families who have suffered such a tragedy. I am an Italian-Canadian who is also in favour of organizing a group to Travel to the Abruzzo region to help in anyway possible. I have Military, and Construction background. I am so happy to see all the generous people willing to pay their own way like myself to join in and help put these people's lives back in order, even if it means handing out water, food, supplies..etc. This Disaster happened about 100 miles from my Parents hometown of Frosinone, and regardless of region, you are all still my blood, and want to help give back to you, after all the generations of Italians who traveled to North America, and helped build the New york skyline, or the Chicago Skyline, or Interstates, and even here in Canada where generations built our Highways, and City Skyscrapers. This is my turn, or our turn to go There and return the Favour. God Bless all, and I hope to be there helping you soon.

If anyone finds any link as to where I can sign up to Volunteer on the ground, please let me know.

Sammy 09/04/2009 - 09:10

For everybody who is interested in volunteering a new site has opened – ” target=”_blank”>http://www.abruzzo.csv.org. It is in Italian but works well with Google Translator which is giving a few more details and breaking down help needed. It seems a little slow but I guess this is due to the sheer volume of traffic its experiencing

Donna Hesson 09/04/2009 - 05:01

My family is from L'Aquila. We are Durante's. Were any of them among the deceased? A response would be greatly appreciated. I live in Northeast Philadelphia, PA. God bless all that had to go through this.

Tom Doherty 09/04/2009 - 00:33

Ciao, I have many friend in the village of Carapelle Calvisio and details are very sketchy at mo. I was in touch with one of them ( Fabrizio Colapietro ) on Monday morning and at that stage there was little damage, just wondering if anybody had any updates from there. My thoughts and prayers are with all in the region

Karl Hill 08/04/2009 - 16:45

Fran, I heard from the owner of La Locanda Sul Lago at Santo Stefano today that the tower had fallen and that the the church of the Madonna on the Lake was damaged. Both of these are pictured on our vacation photos on the weblink. He writes:

A santo Stafano di Sessanio è
caduta la torre, la chiesa della madonna del lago ed altre case. Siamo molto tristi ci auguriamo che presto èossa tornare
la tranqiullità.


Lisa 08/04/2009 - 04:08

Hi, I have many relatives in L'Aquila and Pinola. Many of them have the last name Lepidi. We have been unable to contact anyone by email or phone.

Hi Lisa

It's very difficult getting hold of anyone at the moment in L'Aquila, I neither can get hold of friends there, please try not to think the worst a lot of people will be less mobiles etc & without access to any communication channels

Mark 08/04/2009 - 03:57

I have a house and friends in Caporciano, 30kms or so from L'Aquila along the ss17. Does anyone know the extent of damage/casualties, etc there?

Mark 08/04/2009 - 05:57

I have a house and friends in Caporciano, 30kms or so from L'Aquila along the ss17. Does anyone know the extent of damage/casualties, etc there?

Michael DiSantis 08/04/2009 - 03:38

I am trying to find out about the condition of Tossicia, Azzinano, Teramo, and Castelli. We have not been able to reach our relatives by phone. Thanks.

Hi Michael, Tossicia is down the road from us in Bascinella, so everyone is fine there as the others you mention.

Vincent Pasquantonio 08/04/2009 - 01:03

Is there any word from Ofena?

Penny 07/04/2009 - 23:19

So glad to discover that you and your guests are okay! When I realised the location of the earthquake I was very worried for you. I am very saddened to hear of the terrible loss and injuries suffered by others and send my thoughts to all of those affected. Penny.

Hi Pen

Thanks so much for this, everyone okay but the aftershocks are quite scary for those on the ground they are quite strong – the last one 5+.

tim and marie 07/04/2009 - 20:32

we would like to come to the are to help: Marie is a nurse in tarining and i can do almost anything on the ground. please contact by email with details pls.

Gloria Steiner 07/04/2009 - 19:10

Is there any news about Cesacastina? My father was born there and I visited my relatives there last June. I am also anxiously awaiting news from my cousin who lives and attends the university in L'Aquila.

My prayers go out to all of those affected by the earthquake.

"Hi Gloria

Cesacastina is north of our house, looking at the institute map I think like Bascianella they would have been shaken and rattled but outside building damage damage I am guessing there that everyone there is fine."

Karen Farmiloe 07/04/2009 - 19:02

I have property and friends in Csstiglione a Casauria, I would really appreciate any information – if everything/everyone is ok there. Many Thanks

Hi Karen
Can't be 100% sure but from the looks of things that area was far enough away not to have encountered any mortalities or severe damage.

Michelle Cayer 07/04/2009 - 17:52

My thoughts and prayers are with the families.

I am available to volunteer and pay my own way as well – please let me know if you find out how.




Fabio D'Aroma 07/04/2009 - 16:39

Does anyone have any information on the the street of via Monteluca (behind Piazza del Duomo)? We are not able to contact my grandmother who lives there.



Chris 07/04/2009 - 15:33

According to this (link below) Assergi is all right. http://cricketdiane.wordpress.com/2009/04/07/a-no

Steve 07/04/2009 - 11:12

My prayers to all. My grandmother was from Bugnara – what was the scope of destruction in Bugnara?

admin 07/04/2009 - 11:29

Scanno is far away enough to be okay, the architect who has been restoring Santo Stefano has reported they have all survived and thankfully there is minimal damage even though they are just 10 miles from the epi-centre.

Anna 07/04/2009 - 09:48

I heard that Paganica has extensive damage. I am also interested in going to help – if anyone hears of a group opportunity, please email me.

karen abboud 07/04/2009 - 03:25

just submitted a comment but will repeat. I would like to help, am a montessori teacher and an artist and experience Katrina, losing my home under water. I love children, am on sabbatical leave from my job, and want to help. please let me know if I can.

karen abboud 07/04/2009 - 05:25

just submitted a comment but will repeat. I would like to help, am a montessori teacher and an artist and experience Katrina, losing my home under water. I love children, am on sabbatical leave from my job, and want to help. please let me know if I can.

karen abboud 07/04/2009 - 05:23

please let me know if there is anything to do to help by coming there to work with the children who may be orphaned. I am an artist, a montessori teacher, and love children. am on sabattical leave now and am available, usually working as an elementary teacher. I live in New Orleans, and experienced my house underwater, and loss of family life, so empathize and want to help.
Karen Abboud

Fran Caldarelli 07/04/2009 - 00:25

Does anyone have any information about the village of Santo Stefano di Sessanio? We have relatives there and are unable to contact them.

Fran Caldarelli 07/04/2009 - 02:25

Does anyone have any information about the village of Santo Stefano di Sessanio? We have relatives there and are unable to contact them.

Jean P Raffin 07/04/2009 - 01:24

My father was born in Scanno, and I visited there in 1950. Was Scanno affected by the earthquake. My sympathy and prayers are with the victims.

Joe Heyworth 06/04/2009 - 23:24

I am ready & able to go immediately to L'Aquila to help. Can pay all travel expenses etc, just keen to go and help. Trying to find an organisation to join. Tel +44 7834 155244

Joe Heyworth 07/04/2009 - 01:24

I am ready & able to go immediately to L'Aquila to help. Can pay all travel expenses etc, just keen to go and help. Trying to find an organisation to join. Tel +44 7834 155244

jeff 06/04/2009 - 22:51

This is so terrible ! I lived in L'Aquila for a number of years (working at the Gran Sasso National Laboratory), and it's a place very dear to me.

Has anyone heard about the laboratory ?

What about the town of Assergi ?

And Paganica/Camarda ?

Hi Jeff this has just been announced:

“The Gran Sasso National Laboratory, a particle physics research centre 15 km from L’Aquila in central Italy, has survived intact the earthquake that destroyed the historic town on 6 April, and killed at least 180 people.

“Gran Sasso labs and experiments have not suffered consequences of the earthquake,” says Eugenio Coccia, the centre’s director. “But of course many staff have had their houses destroyed, like so many others who live in the region.” No scientist has been recorded among the dead.

Scientific experiments are being monitored, but no major experimental work will take place until after the Easter holiday, says Coccia. Normal scientific work will begin Tuesday 14 April. “

Ken 06/04/2009 - 20:58

Looking for information about earthquake damage/casualties in San Panfilo d'Ocre – I have family & property there. Any information greatly appreciated.

Kerry 06/04/2009 - 20:33

Any word on San Panfilo d'Ocre?

Romano Fionda 06/04/2009 - 20:11


I'd like to volunteer to help also. Please if anyone else is going or wants to, let me know.


My thoughts are with the families,

John Duggan 06/04/2009 - 19:05

Condolences to all families in l’Aquila who have lost loved ones in this terrible disaster,my thoughts are with you at this time.
John Duggan.

admin 06/04/2009 - 18:57

Paula, Kerry the little mountain villages have been difficult to access and get solid information. If you have relatives in either of these lovely villages here\’s a number to contact if you are in Italy – Protezione Civile della Regione Abruzzo green numbers 800861016 and 800860146. Otherwise here is an form direct to the Abruzzo Civil Protection –


Paula 06/04/2009 - 18:17

Is there any word about Casentino? Any information would be most appreciated. And please do make public any information about volunteering to help in the area. Many thanks.

admin 06/04/2009 - 18:35

From reports so far thankfully both Bugnara or Sulmona are shaken but not stirred, let's keep our fingers firmly crossed it remains this way

Angela Havrilla 06/04/2009 - 17:25

My heart also goes out to everyone effected by this earthquake in L’Aquila. My family lives just outside of Teramo. I am trying to figure out if they were effected…

Also…I know it is early but I am interested in any volunteer trips to go over and help with cleanup. I have contacted the Red Cross and another organization that I know of. If anyone else has any info, could you please let me know? Thank you so much!

Mark Covella 06/04/2009 - 18:23

Our hearts are with the victims and their families as well as all of the people of Abruzzo at this difficult time. Is there any word from Bugnara or Sulmona?

Chris 06/04/2009 - 17:00

My prayers go out to everybody over there! My grandparents live in L’Aquila and luckily are safe.

Roo 06/04/2009 - 16:37

Let's listen to scientists…

Weeks before this disaster, an Italian Seismologist, Gioacchino Giulini who works at the Gran Sasso Physics Labs predicted a major quake around L'Aquila, based on concentrations of radon gas around seismically active areas.

He was reported to police for "spreading alarm" and was forced to remove his findings from the internet. Italy's Civil Protection Agency reassured locals at the end of March that tremors being felt were "absolutely normal" for a seismic area.

In future let's not ignore such warnings or any from his fellows regarding global warming.

Comments are closed.

All about Abruzzo in a slow travel & food blog
All about Abruzzo in a slow travel & food blog