Thursday 22 March 2018

Irishman tells of his brush with death

An aerial photo of the damage in Amatrice Photo: REUTERS/Stefano De Nicolo
An aerial photo of the damage in Amatrice Photo: REUTERS/Stefano De Nicolo

Cian Murray

An Irishman who was caught up in an earthquake in Italy earlier this week has described the area as "devastated" ­following the disaster.

Dubliner Marco Gentile, whose father was originally from Italy, was staying near the town of Amatrice with his ­family at the time of the quake.

Speaking to RTÉ Radio One's Liveline yesterday afternoon, Mr Gentile said he was "extraordinarily lucky" to escape unharmed during Wednesday morning's shock earthquake.

He said: "My father's actually from that area. We're from a smaller village, literally just 3km away, which in earthquake terms is pretty much on top of the site.

"We woke up at 3:30 or 3:45 in the morning, with the house literally shaking from left to right. It was the most extraordinary experience you can imagine.


"We were extraordinarily lucky. The houses have been ­devastated in our village. Most of them haven't actually ­collapsed ­completely but they're devastated.

"They'll have to be torn down, but we were so lucky that ­everybody in our ­particular ­village walked out almost ­without a scratch."

He also told of the damage caused in the house he was staying at during the quake.

"My bedside locker got ­demolished by a block of stone off the back wall of my ­bedroom.

"A couple of inches further over and it would have been worse. The house was literally crumbling.

"The real hope is that the government get together and get these people to rebuild it because if that's not done, these villages just die off."

Irish Independent

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News