Recalling The Past: Memories After L’Aquila Earthquake

Natural disasters can destroy whole cities in a matter of minutes and the disturbing thing about these disasters is that there is no way to stop them or control them. Natural disasters occur in the whole world, however, some cities bear a lot of damage while others do not. When a natural disaster such as an earthquake strikes, there is very little that a person can do to protect himself. Destruction is bound to occur and so are deaths, in such a case the only thing that can help people is the government. If the government has the resources and the man power then they can try to make sure that casualties remain low.

The April of 2009 was a very bad time for the people of Italy, but even worse for the citizens of L’Aquila. Although it has been 9 years since the earthquake jolted parts of Italy, the memories still stick with us and they are nothing close to being pleasant. The earthquake started in the region of Abruzzo and was calculated to have a magnitude of 5.8 to 5.9 on the Richter scale. L’Aquila which is also the capital of Abruzzo was the epicenter of the earthquake and that is why it took the most damage. As a result of this earthquake, 308 people lost their lives and this figure made it Italy’s worst earthquake. The city took years to rebuild and is now home to some of the best hotels.

laquilla earthquake
Over 300 people lost their lives on the 2009 earthquake in L’Aquila

The Italian government was fast to take action against the National Commission for the Forecast and Prevention of Major Risks as they believed that they had given incomplete information related to the danger of the earthquake. Almost 3 years later, six scientists were convicted for not recognizing the risk of such a major earthquake. The moment tensor solutions pointed out that the earthquake was caused by the movement on an NW-SE normal fault.

Historically speaking, the city of L’Aquila has survived a number of earthquakes. The main reason for this is that the city is built on the bed of an ancient lake, which means that the soil underneath is very lost and this amplifies the seismic waves. If you take a look at the history of the city then you will see that it has been hit by a number of earthquakes in the years 1315, 1349, 1452, 1501, 1646, 1703, 1706 and 1958. The largest earthquake from the list is the one that hit the central parts of Italy in 1703 and killed almost 5000 people.

The Various Impacts Of The Earthquake

The 2009 earthquake in L’Aquila was devastating and no one knows that better than the people of L’Aquila. The earthquake had a huge impact in various ways on the economy, culture and social life of L’Aquila.

Social Impact

The social impact that the earthquake had on L’Aquila was massive and there is no denying that. Over 300 people lost their lives while another 1500 people were injured. Over 15000 buildings were damaged or destroyed including some historical buildings. As a result around 70000 people were left homeless and they had to leave the area to find a new area to live. 88000 people lost their jobs and over 28000 students had to leave the area without completing their studies. Lots of people were affected by this earthquake and not in a good way.

Cultural Impact

History is what the city of L’Aquila is all about, it is its soul and culture and without it the city is incomplete. After the earthquake struck a number of historical buildings were destroyed, some of these buildings were from the 13th century.

cultural impact
The earthquake struck a number of historical buildings

Impact On The Economy

Many of the buildings in L’Aquila were very poorly built and that is why they were not able to withstand the earthquake. Since there was so much damage inflicted by the earthquake, the Italian government had to spend around $15 billion in restoration efforts.


The 2009 earthquake in L’Aquila is one of the saddest things that has happened in the history of the region. No one likes to recall such events, however, if you want to understand more about earthquakes and how to counter them then it is important to do so. 9 years have passed, but it still seems like yesterday.

Noi L'Aquila

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