Europe

Italy earthquake: Media record grief and anger

Italian newspaper front pages
Image caption Italian papers focus on the plight of survivors

The aftermath of the earthquake in central Italy that has left more than 240 people dead dominates the front pages of the press on 25 August, with some papers wondering why the tragedy was not prevented.

'The cursed moment'

Images splashed across major newspapers are filled with a sense of anxiety and grieving, showing rescued people sitting on the ground covered in blankets, shop signs with letters destroyed by the earthquake and giant piles of rubble.

Coverage focuses on personal stories, with some papers painting a grim picture of the devastation.

"The night of anxiety, fear and searching for the missing", says a headline in La Repubblica daily.

Image caption Headlines point out loss of life and "inadequate measures"

"Coffins in the children's playground in a village that is no more" reads a front page headline in Corriere Della Sera daily. "In Pescaro del Tronto a kindergarten is now a morgue, an open morgue under clear skies amidst tears and rubble", the report says. "This village has no future anymore."

"The cursed moment of earthquake", echoes a headline on the front page of a local Pescara-based daily newspaper, Il Centro. "My new one-storey house, completely covered in reinforced concrete, trembled. It shook. Like a twig in the sea," writes Giustino Parisse in a blog.

'Anger is stronger than pain'

Some Italian commentators also express frustration with construction standards in the quake-prone area.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Pescara del Tronto in central Italy has been devastated by the earthquake

"I have to say that the anger is stronger than the pain. The anger at the thought that this destruction could have been avoided," writer Dacia Maraini says in Corriere Della Sera. "Can it be that we have not built smartly, anticipating dangers, taking into account earthquake-resistant standards that exist and are very efficient?"

"Town councils should do much more in terms of the rigorousness of earthquake-resistant standards and promoting awareness of the risk. Instead, we are always fatalists, hopeful that it will affect somebody else," echoes civic engineering professor Enzo Scandurra on the Quotidiano.net news website.

'Big-heartedness'

Italian media also note that the natural disaster has mobilised society, propelling ordinary Italians and social media users to co-ordinate and offer help.

"As if to prove the words of [Italian Prime Minister Matteo] Renzi about Italians' big-heartedness in emergencies, many have mobilised themselves to raise funds and assist in the earthquake emergency," Il Quotidiano.net website says.

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