Shell shocked survivors of Italy’s devastating earthquake are finding the strength to recall their ordeal. Aid has not reached everyone yet but most are well aware that they are lucky to be alive.
“I had to be dug out” said an elderly woman in a makeshift hospital. “Apart from my arms I was completely buried under the rubble.” New aftershocks have struck terror with residents running out of tents screaming.. Survivors are coming to terms with an uncertain future. “I don’t know when I’ll be able to go home,it’s a dream. Patience. The most important thing is to be alive isn’t it,” said one woman in L’Alquila. One man said he felt like he had lost everything: “We’re ghosts now. Our house is there – a pile of rubble. We spent our lives saving to build a house now we have nothing.” A young man on a moped was cynical at government promises of aid: “I hope the government, and I say this clearly, that the government won’t steal but be humane. We need this, as do others for that matter.” There is real concern in Italy as funds are often siphoned off by officials and the mafia. In Sicily, people are still living in emergency huts built for victims of a quake in 1908.