Let’s pray for Italy
Rescue workers scrambled to reach survivors buried under rubble in isolated towns and villages across central Italy on Wednesday after a 6.2-magnitude earthquake and a series of strong aftershocks struck the region overnight, collapsing homes, rattling buildings as far away as Rome and Venice and leaving at least 100 people dead.
At least 100 people were killed in the mountainous heart of the country according to Italy’s Civil Protection Department. It earlier called the death toll a “temporary number” that may yet climb.
“No family or village or town will be left alone,” Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said in a national address. Saying Italy would vigorously accelerate the ongoing rescue effort, he added, “we will continue to find people alive.”
Mariana Lleshi, a Catholic nun from Albania, a religious institute where she lived along with a group of other nuns and elderly women. Of the 20 women who lived there, she said, seven were still unaccounted for. Lleshi clutched her head, where a large bandage covered the wound she sustained as the ceiling collapsed in her bedroom.
“I remember hearing something, a loud noise, and then hiding under my bed,” she said. “I was screaming, and I got out and started running when the ceiling started coming down.”
She said a young Colombian man who was staying overnight at the institute found her in the chaos and guided her out to safety.
“All I could see was destruction around me,” she said. “I had lost all hope to get out of this alive, but God sent me his messenger.”