PERUGIA, Italy — All University of Minnesota students studying abroad in Italy have been accounted for following a deadly earthquake April 6 that left nearly hundreds dead in L’Aquila, Italy.
The quake has killed 294 people and left more than 55,000 homeless.
The Learning Abroad Center is monitoring the situation closely, said Stacey Tsantir, the international health, safety and compliance coordinator at the University.
The LAC has been in close communication with the staff of its Florence study abroad program, as well as its associated programs.
“We have received verification that all the students on official University programs through the LAC in Italy are accounted for,” Tsantir said.
Tsantir said students were told by the U.S. Embassy to avoid the region as deadly aftershocks continue and reports indicate that the area impacted by the earthquake is not safe.
No University students were traveling in L’Aquila at the time of the earthquake, though many students studying abroad in Rome and Perugia awoke to slight tremors.
“I slept through it, but all of my roommates woke up,” said Emily Blaeser , a junior at the University who is studying in Perugia.
University students studying in the surrounding regions noted a slight lurch beneath their feet and shaking computer screens.
Marie Kloor woke up at 3:32 a.m. April 6 to the walls of her hotel room shaking.
“It felt like someone was jumping on the bed,” said Kloor, a junior at the University of Colorado at Boulder, also currently studying abroad in Perugia. “It continued for about 30 seconds.”
Kloor was traveling in Avezzano, Italy, when the magnitude 6.3 earthquake struck 33 miles northeast in L’Aquila.
More noticeable to students was the magnitude 5.6 aftershock that hit L’Aquila at 7:47 p.m. on Tuesday, raining rubble onto relief workers.
Students studying abroad in Italy have followed the after effects of the earthquake closely. In Rome, students attempted to arrange a trip L’Aquila to work with the relief efforts over the upcoming Easter break.
In Rome and Perugia, students have established designated donation boxes and sent text-message contributions to the Department of Civil Protection for the victims of the earthquake.
— The Associated Press contributed to this report.
— Jessie Van Berkel is a sophomore in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. She is currently studying abroad in Perugia, Italy. Managing Editor Mike Rose welcomes comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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