French first lady to meet L'Aquila quake survivors
French first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy will meet with quake survivors in L'Aquila on Friday.Paris – French first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy will meet with quake survivors in L'Aquila on Friday and tour the centre of the Italian town that has been off limits since the April disaster, officials said.
The Italian-born wife of President Nicolas Sarkozy will see firsthand the heavy damage done to the 18th-century Santa Maria del Suffragio church, which will be restored with French and Italian funding.
A former-model-turned-singer, Bruni-Sarkozy will meet with survivors of the April 6 quake that killed 299 people and left 70,000 homeless while her husband joins other world leaders at the G8 summit.
The 41-year-old first lady had announced a donation to the local hospital after the quake and pledged to support reconstruction efforts in the capital of Italy's Abruzzo region.
Three months after the quake that measured 5.8 on the Richter scale, the region continues to tremble, with some aftershocks exceeding five on the Richter scale.
Last Friday a 4.1 magnitude quake struck just one kilometer (half a mile) from the military academy in a L'Aquila suburb where the three-day G8 summit is to kick off on Wednesday.
The French presidency said Bruni-Sarkozy would not be joining the wives of the other G8 leaders in Rome on Wednesday and no reason was given.
France is a member of the G8 club of industrialised economies along with Britain, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the United States.
AFP / Expatica