It is one of those natural disasters that no-one ever believes will happen to them. One minute life is normal and peaceful and the next there is little left.
A claim has been made that an Italian scientist had tried to warn the authorities about the imminent danger some time ago, but he had been silenced for scaremongering. However, a spokesman for the Italian Civil Protection Agency has said he does not believe this would have been possible.
Whatever the truth of the claim, it is too late to be of comfort to the people who were killed or made homeless by the quake, which registered a massive 6.3 on the Richter scale.
It is humbling to think that an event that lasted for only around 30 seconds, could cause so much devastation and loss of life.
Once again, nature has sent a reminder of how vulnerable we really are!