[credit provider=”wikipedia commons” url=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:L%27Aquila_eathquake_prefettura.jpg”]
In response to predictions from a self-taught astronomist who died more than 30 years ago, many Roman citizens are sitting May 11 out, and waiting for another of his earthquake predictions to come true.Raffaele Bendandi gained renown in the 1920s and 1930s when his theory that the movement of the planets sparked earthquakes, caught the attention of Benito Mussolini. Over the years, he was credited with predicting a number of disasters, and his reputation grew.
With the L’Aquila earthquake of two years ago still fresh on Italian minds, Benandi’s supposed prediction of a May 11, 2011 Roman earthquake have taken hold of the Eternal City.
According to the BBC, almost 20 per cent of city employees have taken the day off, and Italy’s civil protection agency has released statements reminding citizens that earthquakes cannot be predicted. There are other reports of people fleeing the city.
Today’s state run Italian TV is running programs aimed at “calming nerves” throughout the city.
There is no clear evidence the prediction is anything more than blog-born, internet hype, however, and the custodian’s of Bendandi’s papers have issued statements saying there is no mention of May 11 in them.