SF residents react to Italy quake

April 6, 2009 2:25:49 PM PDT
Bay Area residents with family members in central Italy are worrying for their loved ones' safety as shaking continues in the region hit by a powerful earthquake. Italian officials report more than a dozen aftershocks - making the rescue efforts even more urgent. SIGN-UP: Get breaking news sent to you

Incredible rescues having been taking place today, with people pulled out of collapsed buildings alive. But in the aftermath of the magnitude 6.3 quake - nearly 100 people are confirmed dead, More than 1,500 are injured And a staggering 100,000 people are homeless in the medieval city of L'Aquila - about 70 miles northeast of Rome.

The Italian Consulate in San Francisco believes that this rescue effort is going more smoothly then other rescue efforts following other earthquakes in Italy. This quake was felt 70 miles away - all the way to Rome; the pain from this earthquake, is being felt all the way to San Francisco.

Parishioners at Saint's Peter and Paul in San Francisco's North Beach neighborhood were praying for victims of the earthquake, and there are many; buildings collapsed, one apartment building six stories tall is now pancaked on top of itself entire blocks flattened.

At Café Roma coffee shop on Bryant Street, Sergio Azzollini is worried about friends and family. He was watching Italian TV when the quake hit, he immediately got on the phone.

"I called Italy again to try and talk to people near the earthquake, and throughout the day - I will try to get in touch with them. I'm devastated myself to see what went on," said Azzollini.

At the Italian embassy, the phone has not been ringing off the hook.

"This part of Italy is not very much represented in the Bay Area. Italians who have families in Italy - just a few come out of this area - so they will get in touch directly with their families," said Fabrezio Marcelli, Italian Consul.

Mr. Marcelli says the recovery effort is going smooth and talk of a drive to raise money for victims of the quake, will wait until a more accurate assessment of the damage can be made.

Mister Azzollini is just happy he lives here.

"Thank god the knowledge that we have here - I'm not going to worry that much," said Azzollini.

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