Fifty years ago| January 17, 1968 Archives

Quake in Sicily, Mount Etna erupts

Mount Etna, the active volcano in quake-stricken Sicily, was erupting violently every eight or 10 minutes to-day [January 16]. Lava was creeping down the south-east flank and has travelled 800 metres. Spurts of steam were visible and ashes were falling on villages nearby. The Lava began escaping on January 7. The death toll in the quakes that have rocked the island since 22-30 G.M.T. Sunday to-day rose to 301, according to the Rome evening paper, ‘Il Giornale d’Italia.’ But unofficial reports earlier predicted a toll of 600 or more. The paper said 1,427 persons were missing and 15,554 were injured. As tens of thousands camped out in the snowy countryside, reports reached here [Palermo (Sicily)] that three emergency hospitals were now in operation. Six “villages” each of 3,000 tents had been set up. Dozens of mobile kitchens were providing food. Fourteen refugee collection centres were functioning. Nearly 20 tremors have occurred since the original quake yesterday [January 15]. Italian President Giuseppe Saragat left Rome for a tour of the devastated areas, where churches, hospitals and houses were reduced to rubble. An airlift was operating between Rome and Sicily. Tents, medical supplies, blood and other goods were arriving in Sicily. Four British minesweepers were due to reach the island with blankets, drugs and other provisions. The United States was sending planes with supplies. Offers of further help came from many world capitals. Helicopters were taking the supplies to people most in need. Pilots were calling at stricken towns and villages “in rotation,” officials said.

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Printable version | Oct 23, 2021 4:18:50 PM |

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