Page last updated at 05:50 GMT, Tuesday, 6 April 2010 06:50 UK

L'Aquila marks earthquake anniversary


L'Aquila residents held a candlelit vigil

The Italian city of L'Aquila is holding a series of events to mark the first anniversary of the earthquake that killed 300 and left 60,000 homeless.

Commemorations for one of Europe's biggest post-war natural disasters include vigils and a musical requiem.

The night's events included a pause for reflection at 0332 (0132 GMT) - the exact moment the quake struck.

The 6.3 magnitude earthquake devastated the centre of the medieval city and surrounding villages.

The original rescue and recovery operation was widely praised, with most people soon put into temporary accommodation, says BBC correspondent Duncan Kennedy.

Most of those made homeless have since been rehoused in temporary accommodation.

But the centre of L'Aquila remains off limits as the buildings are unsafe.

That situation, our correspondent says, has lead to frustrations for thousands of people who've been staging demonstrations with wheelbarrows, a symbol, they say, of their desire to clear the city of its rubble and bring it back to life.

Mayor Massimo Cialente has been strongly criticised by some residents.

"The city is still stuck, emptied of its inhabitants," one local campaigner, Anna Colasanto, told the AFP news agency.

The authorities say it could take up to 10 years for life to return to normal.

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Yahoo! UK and Ireland Tears, anger as Italians mark year since L'Aquila quake - 21 hrs ago Anger a year after Italian quake - 23 hrs ago
France24 Local people angry on eve of Italy quake anniversary - 35 hrs ago
CHINAdaily Italy's L'Aquila a ghost town 1 year after quake - 38 hrs ago L'Aquila earthquake survivors seek answers from government - 41 hrs ago

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