Thursday, 31 October, 2002, 15:24 GMT
Italy’s earthquake history
A series of quakes in 1997 left 40,000 homeless
The earthquake that has struck the village of San Giuliano di Puglia is the latest in a long line of quakes to hit southern Italy:
1997 — More than 40,000 people lose their homes and 13 die in a series of earthquakes in September. Four of the victims are killed as the roof of the Basilica of St Francis in Assisi collapses. Priceless frescoes are also damaged.
1980 — 2,735 people are killed and more than 7,500 injured in a quake measuring at least 6.9 on the Richter scale. The epicentre is at Eboli, about 80 kilometres (50 miles) south of Naples, and damage is widespread. More than 1,500 people are reported missing.
1976 — An earthquake measuring 6.1 on the Richter scale rocks Friuli in northeastern Italy, killing 976 people and leaving 70,000 others homeless.
1915 — An earthquake on 13 January shakes southern Italy. The town of Avezzano at its epicentre is completely destroyed. The death toll is estimated to be at least 30,000.
1908 — On 28 December Europe’s most powerful earthquake strikes the Messina Strait, which separates Sicily from Calabria.
The effects, combined with a large tsunami or tidal wave triggered by the earthquake, are devastating.
Estimates of fatalities vary, but may be as high as 200,000.
The quake’s magnitude is equal to 7.5 on the modern Richter scale.
1905 — An earthquake obliterates 25 villages in the Calabria region, killing about 5,000 people.
1783 — Calabria on the southern tip of Italy is hit by an earthquake, killing about 50,000.
1693 — Earthquakes hit southern Italy, killing an estimated 60,000 in Catania, Sicily, and 93,000 in Naples.
«The crash of falling houses, the tottering of towers, and the groans of the dying, all contributed to raise my terror and despair,» writes one eyewitness.