Posts contrassegnato dai tag ‘pantheon’

This article is taken from “The Guardian” about the earthquake predicted by Benandi.

See Rome and die – but not today

Thousands in Italian capital take non-existent earthquake prediction seriously and escape city.

It may be down to the beatific presence of Pope Benedict XVI, or perhapsItaly’s tectonic plates balked at the idea of destroying the Pantheon, the Colosseum and St Peter’s basilica in one fell swoop – but, as yet, the Eternal City remains untouched by a huge earthquake predicted by a self-taught seismologist.

Raffaele Bendandi, the “earthquake prophet” who died more than 30 years ago, forecast a devastating tremor that would tear through Italy’s capital on 11 May.

Italy had already felt 22 small earthquakes by midday, a figure that is perfectly normal for the quake-prone country. But Rome’s espresso-drinking, Vespa-driving, hand-waving activities continued as normal.

The threat had been taken seriously by thousands of Romans. In Rome’s Chinatown, many storefronts were shuttered, and La Repubblica reported that requests from the capital’s public employees for a day off in order to escape the city were 18% higher than for the same day in 2011. Education officials expected school attendance to be down by a fifth.

Bendandi, who was knighted by fascist leader Benito Mussolini, is said to have predicted several disasters, including the Friuli quake of 1976, which claimed almost 1,000 lives. Despite assurance from the head of a foundation set up in Bendandi’s honour in his hometown near Bologna, that the seismologist had never pin-pointed a date for the earthquake, Romans still headed for the country. A survey of farm hotels outside the capital indicated that business was up as the city’s inhabitants made their preemptive escape.

“I can state with absolute certainty that in Raffaele Bendandi’s papers, there is no prediction of an earthquake in Rome on 11 May 2011,” Paola Lagorio, the president of the Osservatorio Geoficico Comunale of Faenza, said last month. “The date is not there. The place is not there.”

Italy’s Civil Protection department looked to reassure people with an information pack online that stressed that quakes cannot be accurately predicted and that Rome isn’t at particular risk.