With Italy still reeling from a series of earthquakes that started in August, FRANCE 24 returned to the city of L'Aquila, which was devastated by a massive quake in 2009. Seven years later, people are still waiting for their homes to be rebuilt.
Everyone in L'Aquila remembers the fateful night of April 6, 2009. At around 3:30am, a powerful magnitude 6.3 earthquake struck the capital of the Abruzzo region, in central Italy. A total of 309 people lost their lives and dozens more were injured. In the space of a few seconds, over 65,000 residents found themselves homeless and the historic city centre was destroyed. The damage was estimated at over 10 billion euros.
More than seven years later, the ruined city of L'Aquila seems frozen in time, a ghostly reminder of its former self. Most of its residents have never returned.
Our correspondent in Italy, Natalia Mendoza, went to meet families of victims as well as survivors who are unable to return home. They are still living in the suburbs, in emergency accommodation built after the quake. Our reporter also investigated why, despite hundreds of millions of euros of European funds being earmarked for L'Aquila's reconstruction, the process of rebuilding is so painfully slow.