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Abbess Dies in Quake

BY Edward Pentin

| Posted 4/6/09 at 3:17 PM

 

The Adnkronos news agency has reported that Sister Gemma Antonucci, abbess of the Poor Clare nuns of the convent of Santa Chiara of Paganica, died in today’s earthquake in Italy.

According to the Adnkronos report, rescuers were trying to remove debris from another nun thought to be trapped in the collapsed building.

Adnkronos also reported as follows:

According to SIR, the news agency of the Italian bishops, Don Dionisio Umberto Rodriguez Cuartas, pastor of the 5,000 inhabitants of Paganica and director of Caritas L’Aquila, said: ‘‘There are at least three deaths in the parish, but I fear the number will rise because ‘the old’ part of the town has completely collapsed. It wasn’t possible to enter the great church and I do not know what happened, but the other five churches were all damaged. The roof of the convent of Poor Clares collapsed and we’re not able to remove another sister from the rubble.’‘

Today’s Italian earthquake, which is known to have claimed at least 92 lives, was particularly damaging because it took place at night when most people were asleep at home.