L'Aquila holds torchlight procession to mark 13 years since earthquake.
Italy marks the 13th anniversary of the 6.3-magnitude earthquake that struck the city of L'Aquila in the early hours of 6 April 2009, killing 309 people, leaving 70,000 homeless and devastating more than 50 villages in the central Abruzzo region.
On Tuesday night the residents of L'Aquila held the traditional torchlit procession through the city's streets, after Italy's covid restrictions led to the cancellation of the solemn event over the last two years.
Midnight Mass was celebrated for the victims and a huge blue beam of light was projected into the sky from the central Piazza Duomo for the third consecutive year.
At precisely 03.32, church bells rang out 309 times, once for each person that died under the rubble.
Works to reconstruct buildings in L'Aquila are still underway, 13 years after the city was devastated by the deadly earthquake.
Last May, Rome's MAXXI Museum of 21st Century Arts opened a new contemporary art museum in L'Aquila, in the refurbished Palazzo Ardinghelli.
#6aprile, 13 anni fa il terremoto in #Abruzzo: 216.000 gli interventi effettuati, 103 le persone salvate tra le macerie dai #vigilidelfuoco, che lavorarono per mesi con 2.700 unità per prestare assistenza alla popolazione duramente colpita#pernondimenticare #passatomaipassato pic.twitter.com/nOJ8v1YZuA
— Vigili del Fuoco (@emergenzavvf) April 6, 2022
In September last year the Italian premier Mario Draghi inaugurated a memorial park in L'Aquila, hailing the victims who perished in the earthquake as "309 angels".