Earthquakes and after shocks in Italy...Heartbreaking loss of life...Our own earthquake memories from the mountains in Italy...



BBC news photo of earthquake rubble as rescuers search for victims from this week's 6.2 earthquake.  See details below.
Some of our readers may assume we're so far away from civilization at times that we don't hear what happening in other parts of the world.  Without a TV in many locations, we're still easily aware of world news by online announcements we receive and when reading online news and watching videos each day.

In most cases, we're aware of news as readily as those in the more populated regions of the world with news available 24/7.  The Internet also provided live video news feeds and broadcasts from around the world.  Many who only watch news on TV may have never utilized online news. 

Its as detailed and up-to-date as any broadcast news, keeping us well informed. However, local news feeds here in Phuket are behind some of the international reporting services throughout the world, as we've seen with the recent bombings.
The 300 year old building we lived in during three months in Boveglio is near the clock tower in the top right in this photo.  Certainly, none of these homes were earthquake proofed.
We were shocked and saddened to hear of the earthquakes in Italy that occurred on Wednesday (Thursday here) reported again this morning on BBC news, a source we often use:

"The 6.2-magnitude quake hit in the early hours of Wednesday, 100km (65 miles) north-east of Rome in mountainous central Italy.

The worst affected towns - Amatrice, Arquata, Accumoli and Pescara del Tronto - are usually sparsely populated but have been swelled by tourists visiting for summer, making estimates for the precise number missing difficult.

More than 200 people died in Amatrice alone, Ansa news agency reported."

View from the living room window of other historic homes where we lived in Boveglio, Italy in summer of 2013 where, we experienced a 5.2 earthquake without significant damage.
For today's ongoing story of the earthquakes and after shocks in Italy including photos and videos, please click here.

We send our heartfelt sympathy and prayers for the families, friends, neighbors and tourists for those who lost their lives, for the rescue and healing of those injured and, for those hundreds, if not thousands of citizens who lost their homes, their livelihood and their sense of history and heritage as many historic buildings crumbled to the ground. 

Also, we pray for safety for the many rescuers who risk their own lives in the process.  Many have traveled from around the globe to assist local rescue services.

In summer of 2013, we lived in a very similar village in Italy, in Boveglio, high in the mountains of Tuscany in a 300 year old stone house as shown in a few of today's photos.


A short walk in the neighborhood where every building was old and most likely not earthquake proof.
Only four days after we arrived in Boveglio, Italy, we experienced a 5.2 earthquake in the region described as following on our site with seismology statistics we'd discovered at the time.  Please click here for details.

For our story of the experience, please click here for our post of June 21, 2013.  For Tom, it was the first time he'd felt an earthquake as described in that post:

"Halfway through writing our blog today, we experienced a 5.2 earthquake as we sat on the veranda.  Having grown up in southern California, this was a familiar sensation for me although  it was Tom's first experience.  We reminded ourselves as we ran for cover, that we are in an over 300 year old stone house, most likely the safest place to be.  Wow!  The adventures never cease to amaze us!"

Little did we realize at the time that the 300 year old building didn't provide us with a safe place to be during an earthquake as described in the above BBC news story.  Apparently, many of the historic buildings provided no safety for the residents and tourists of the above listed villages devastated in this week's 6.2 quake. 

Apparently, many are angry and frustrated that building codes didn't require "earthquake proofing" of the old buildings.  Sadly, for many of the owners, had such requirements been imposed by regulatory agencies, they'd have been unable to afford the costly upgrades.


It was required we walk up this steep set of stone steps to gain access to the living quarters of the 300 year old stone house in which we lived for three months.  To hang laundry we had to maneuver these steps to the ledge shown on the left to get on the veranda, a very tricky and dangerous proposition.  Can you imagine trying to escape during an earthquake?  Most likely, many of those trapped under rubble were faced with similar scenarios.
This is sad news.  Should one wonder if further investigation isn't necessary when staying for long periods in historic buildings or in living in high risk areas where crime is rampant or with a high risk of many types of natural disasters?

Good grief, we could go nuts trying to avoid what appears to be transpiring throughout the world.  No place on the planet is exempt from some sort of risk or another.  Undoubtedly, risks may be higher in certain areas which we attempt to avoid.  But many seemingly safe regions present their own versions of risk.

We can only continue to book venues and locations considering many aspects of safety.  Honestly, other than avoiding high risk areas of civil and political unrest, we continue on researching our next leg of our itinerary. 

At this point, booked to March 18, 2018, we've decided to wait to add on to our itinerary until we arrive in Tasmania in December, 2016.   While there for three months, we'll have a good Wi-Fi signal and be able to concentrate on the future.  It is during this research period that we'll have an opportunity to study a variety of risks for each new location.


From the road below in the mountainous area we took this photo of neighboring houses.
As an aside: 
As we prepare today's post, for the sake of our Minnesota readers, Tom is listening to Garage Logic on KSTP 1500 radio, broadcasting from the Minnesota State Fair which opened yesterday.  Over the remaining five days in Phuket with a good Wi-Fi signal, we'll be listening to the two hour show (which is on live weekdays only but can be listened to at any time via saved podcasts on the website) including another few hours of Sports Talk.

For our readers who aren't able to attend their local state fairs, most states and counties broadcast information and stories on similar radio shows that can be found online and listened to via a podcast.  If you need help finding such a broadcast for your state fair, please write to us and we'll try to help you find the link.

Enjoy the day and be well.
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Photo from one year ago today, August 25, 2015:
We were shocked to see the reasonable price on this exquisite flower arrangement at only AUD $20, USD $14.20 at the famers market in Cairns, Australia.  For more photos, please click here. 


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