An earthquake at 5.1 on the Richter scale has struck again between Modena and Mantova, followed by after-shocks throughout the night above 3. The settecentesco clock tower which had symbolized the earthquake-stricken north of Italy's determination to rebuild was brought down at 9.21 last evening. The earthquake shook the country from Firenze to Bolsano and from Milano to Venezia; seismic events continue to be recorded in the entire north.
All schools are now closed in the Provinces of Modena and Mantova and the scholastic year has been cut short for 2012 as the checks on their buildings, which had just been completed, are begun again. The shops, bars and supermarkets that had begun to reopen in the zones worst affected have closed once more and the civil defence teams are extending the temporary accommodation, field hospitals and canteens to cope with the further influx of people who, up to now, had been camping in the public parks and gardens within towns and cities in their own tents.
Today is a day of mourning for the death and destruction with flags at half mast and minutes of silence in all comunes in Italy. The damage to towns and cities, to infrastructure, though not the industrial damage, is estimated at 5 billion euros and rising. The damage to the glories of the courts of the Gonzaga and the Rinascimento? Still being assessed.