Students React to the Devastation in Italy

By Emily Dalrymple

On April 6, a devastating earthquake hit central Italy, specifically the city of L’Aquila, 75 miles northeast of Rome, leaving thousands injured and homeless, and several dead. A university dormitory was among one of the many buildings collapsed.

According to Reuters, many of the victims were students at L’Aquila’s university. A fireman from the port of Pescara who came to help rescue efforts collapsed in tears after unearthing the body of his stepdaughter, a L’Aquila university student.

Relief workers dealing with the destruction. Image from, courtesy of European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre

Relief workers dealing with the destruction. Image from, courtesy of European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre

Alyssa Longobucco, a Marist sophomore currently studying in Florence, said that many parents were unsure of the devastation and were frantically trying to reach their children.

“It was terrible to hear that several students were killed in the earthquake,” said Longobucco. “What made it hit home more was how many people didn’t know exactly what happened in the US and called panicking about their children.”

“The haziness of the situation made a lot of people back at home panic.”

According to an article from BBC News, Luigi Alfonsi was residing in a collapsed dormitory.

“We managed to come down with other students but we had to sneak through a hole in the stairs as the whole floor came down,” student Luigi Alfonsi said.

“I was in bed – it was like it would never end as I heard pieces of the building collapse around me.”

According to, the Italian Red Cross has set up mobile kitchens that can provide 10,000 meals a day run by a team of 46 staff and volunteers.

“I know there have been a couple of blood drives organized, but as far as anything else, I’m unsure,” said Longobucco about the efforts made by her school to help out in this crisis.

The day after the earthquake, Reuters reported that at least 235 people were killed. Authorities estimate that 17,000 people have lost their homes. Many people have been living in tents while rescue shelters have been constructed.

Alex Resnick, a Marist junior, has received little information about what is happening in L’Aquila. Students studying abroad in Italy are receiving about as much information as those of us in the United States.

“I know from various television channels and news sources that throughout the course of the recovery people were forced, and probably still are, to live in tents,” said Resnick. “Many people were found alive hidden in the rumble, but many people were also found to be dead.”


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