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Horror in Italy today as a massive 6.3 magnitude earthquake rocked the country to the East of Rome.
Initial reports confirm that over 100 people have been killed due to the earthquake and many others are trapped. One eyewitness reports, “there is nothing to see but devastation.”
Internet news wire Alertnet.org also brings to light a story which implies a scientist who knew this earthquake was upcoming over a month ago has been muzzled by Italian authorities:
An Italian scientist predicted a major earthquake around L’Aquila weeks before disaster struck the city on Monday, killing dozens of people, but was reported to authorities for spreading panic among the population.
The first tremors in the region were felt in mid-January and continued at regular intervals, creating mounting alarm in the medieval city, about 100 km (60 miles) east of Rome.
Vans with loudspeakers had driven around the town a month ago telling locals to evacuate their houses after seismologist Gioacchino Giuliani predicted a large quake was on the way, prompting the mayor’s anger.
Giuliani, who based his forecast on concentrations of radon gas around seismically active areas, was reported to police for “spreading alarm” and was forced to remove his findings from the Internet.
Source – Reuters via Alertnet.org
Meanwhile, Italian leader Berlusconi is wrapping up his G20 and allegedly busy threatening to shut up Italian news services with a black out, due to their covering of gaffes he made while at the global summit for the world’s economically leading countries.
It is a very sad day in Italy, as some reports indicate that smaller towns and villages through the country may have been ‘virtually wiped right off the map‘.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Italy during this time.