The Moment: L'Aquila

AP / ALESSANDRA TARANTINO

A man carries some belongings as he walks through the rubble of collapsed buildings, in the village of Castelnuovo

In the early hours of April 6, Italy's worst earthquake in nearly three decades struck in the nation's central region of Abruzzo, killing more than 200 people, leaving tens of thousands homeless and destroying everything from schools to medieval churches. Days later, rescue workers were still searching through flattened apartment blocks and rubble-packed ruins in the slim hope that there were survivors to be found.

Italy is no stranger to earthquakes. A 1980 quake in the country's south killed more than 2,500; some 80,000 died in 1908 when an earthquake struck the Sicilian city of Messina. Now, in...

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