The day Rome didn’t disappear
An aerial view of the Colosseum in Rome, Italy.
May 11th, 2011
12:20 PM ET

The day Rome didn’t disappear

Romans let out a sigh of relief Wednesday morning.

Everything was still in place: buildings, famous ancient ruins, schools and homes.

In recent months, concerns of a possible earthquake that was going to destroy the "Eternal City" spread on the Web. It all started with the misinterpretation of the theory of Raffaele Bendandi, a seismologist who died in 1979 who claimed a major quake would take place on May 11, 2011. After the Japanese earthquake, concern turned to anxiety.

And with the best view of the planets clustering before sunrise Wednesday, it caused further panic.

In some areas of the city, nearly 50% of the shops where closed. On doors are quick handwritten notes: ‘Closed for inventory."

While several minor quakes rattled the country prone to temblors, none came like the one in the purported claim. Still, some residents fled, just in case.

Daniela D’Amely, a graphic designer mother of a 12-year-old, told CNN her daughter "begged" her to escape from Rome today. Eventually, her daughter did go to school, but many other kids were absent.

According to the police, traffic was more intense than usual on roads leading out of Rome.

Bendandi, a self-made scientist from a village in central Italy, with some official recognition during his life, believed that the alignment of the planets could change the gravitational force of the Earth, causing earthquakes.

But experts at the National Geophysical and Volcanology Institute stressed there was nothing to be worried about.

‘The force from aligned planets is irrelevant compared to the tectonic forces of the Earth's plates whose movements create real earthquakes," said seismologist Lucia Margheriti. "None of the big earthquakes of the last century happened with particular planets' alignment."

The Institute is even holding an event to explain and address the worries - and over 1,000 visitors where registered since the early hours of the morning.

"When we have conferences to inform people on earthquakes prevention measures, nobody comes," Margheriti said. "Public reacts to strong emotions like fear, and for us today is a good occasion to reach people that are not usually interested in geology."

A woman asked them if today she could have a ultrasound medical test or if it was better to move the appointment. Of course the answer was to do the ultrasound today.

Gianni Alemanno, the mayor of Rome, also assured Romans that nothing as a devastating earthquake would happen today.

"It’s not a scientific forecast," ANSA news agency reported him saying this morning. ‘We have to remain calm."

"Bendandi’s theory have no scientific evidence," said Marco Loppi, a geophysicist who now earns his living selling mobile phones.

"In Italy we register dozens of minor earthquakes every day. The real problem is that there is very little scientific information and people that search the net fall easily in this kind of stupid predictions."

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Filed under: Italy
soundoff (159 Responses)
  1. UncleBob

    This just in: The day's not over.

    Not that I think anything's really gonna happen, though.

    May 11, 2011 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
  2. MarcXW

    Have people reached record levels of stupidity??? We still can't predict earthquakes, what makes them think some guy could've predicted this decades ago??? I think I'll also go to the moon on the 21st of December 2012, just in case!!!

    May 11, 2011 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ryan in Michigan

      @ Mark CW – This is why we have science. It is to make educated guesses, then proceed to find out why or why not. At least this guy tried to predict the earthquake using technology and ideas available back then rather than sitting on his lazy butt making fun of other people, like certain people who post on this blog.

      May 11, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Fredo

    Italians don't speak English well. And CNN reporters don't type English too well!

    May 11, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Dave

    The great earthquake that we read about in the Bible will be May 21 2011.
    Rev.16:18 And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a GREAT EARTHQUAKE such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.

    May 21 2011 will be the beginning of God's judgment. The warning is going out in all the world about this. Today is still the day of salvation. God is still saving people but that will come to an end May 21. The door(Christ) will be shut on that day just as the door to the ark was closed on the 2nd month 17 th day when Noah got on the ark. The 2nd month and 17th day of the hebrew calendar just happen to be May 21 2011 on our calendar. It will be exactly 7000 years from the day Noah got on the ark. God gave Noah a 7 day warning we read about in Gen.7. As it was as in the days of Noah so shall it be. We are given a 7000 year warning. remember, God said be not ignorant of this one thing, one day is as a 1000 years and a 1000 years is as one day with the Lord.

    All this information is taken from the Bible and the Bible alone. For more information on this "great earthquake" you can go to But time is running out. Only 10 days to get on the safety of the ark(Christ).

    May 11, 2011 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • sigh

      Wait you were serious? Wow crazy people these days

      May 11, 2011 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • GrogInOhio

      Well now... Thanks for the heads on May 21. I'm gonna quit paying bills!

      May 11, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steven Brooks

      You true believers still going door-to-door asking for donations?

      Yeah, such is the nature of faith.

      See you on the 22nd, unless you pull a Heaven's Gate out of embarrassment.

      May 11, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cedar Rapids

      ' It will be exactly 7000 years from the day Noah got on the ark.'
      oh too too funny. made me chuckle, thanks.

      May 11, 2011 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
  5. DaveisDumb

    @Dave, I'll be sure to take a moment from my day on the 22nd to laugh at you as I go about my normal activities.

    May 11, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      Hi Daviesdumb,
      The Bible talks about those in the last days in 2 Peter 3:3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,

      4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.

      5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:

      You are being willingly ignorant. The good news Davies, today is still the day of salvation. You can still cry out to God for mercy, who can tell, maybe God will have mercy on you. When the Ninivites got word judgment was coming they cried out to God mightily for mercy saying, who can tell, maybe God will have mercy. All they knew was time and judgment and that they were in trouble with God. Now, you heard May 21 2011 will be the day of God's judgment so you heard about time and judgment. But, do you know that you are in trouble with God? All have sinned. There is none rightious. Maybe God will forgive you of those sins? Who can tell?


      May 11, 2011 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • sigh

      I can't tell if this dave guy is a really good troll, or a really stupid person.

      May 11, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cedar Rapids

      well we hope to see you here on the 22nd Dave. see you then

      May 11, 2011 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Smithers

    Except, Dave, that same Book says "no ones the day or the hour...". Hmmm? Guess you better read the WHOLE of the Bible, not just the pieces that you want to use to manipulate and deceive people.

    May 11, 2011 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • jim

      The comment that no one knows the time or the hour was made at that time. Even Jesus and the angels know now.

      May 11, 2011 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • braineyack

      He watches Fox News

      May 11, 2011 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      Hi Smithers,
      When one does take the "whole" bible we find that the believers will know the time. If you go to Daniel 12:4 you will read that Daniel wanted to know when the "end" would be. God told him to seal these things up UNTILL the end. Once we come to the end you will read that the Lamb(Christ) will remove these seals.

      We find that those in darkness(unsaved) will not know the time, Christ will come for them as a thief.You can tead this in 1 Thes5:1-4. In verse 4 God says but ye "brethren" are not in darkness and that day will not overtake you as a thief.

      We read in Rev.3:3 that those that are watching(throught the bible) will know the hour(time). Rev.3:3 Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.

      Many people take great comfort in thinking no man knoweth, neither the son and He is coming as a thief therefore no one could know the time. But if you read the "whole Bible you will find that the true believers will know the time.

      In Ez.33 God tells the watchman(believers) when they see the sword coming to blow the trumpet. The trumpet is the word of God. Now, in order to blow the trumpet one must know the time.

      We could only know the time because we are coming to the end and God is removing the seals, this information was always in the bible but as you may know, it is God that must give the eyes to see and ears to hear(understanding)

      The good news is, today is still the day of salvation. But in just 10 days the door will be closed.

      for more information about how this date was taken from the Bible alone you can go to or

      May 11, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Dave

    Hi Davies,

    I must inform you, May 22 2011 there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth

    May 11, 2011 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • YoudBetterReadYourBibleagain

      Actually Dave,
      We feel sorry for you for swallowing hook, line and sinker the false preachings of a false prophet, Harold Camping, which the Bible also warns about. Harold has tried to predict "the day" before and was left looking like a fool as he is. I hope you are well on May 22nd and that you will finally understand that you've been misled by a false prophet and that you can find spiritual peace and fulfillment in what Jesus' message was all about: how we live our lives each day and how we treat our neighbors.

      May 11, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • jim

      Dave doesn't understand symbolism it appears

      May 11, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Allan

      And on May 23rd there will be many dental appointments made to repair gnashed teeth

      May 11, 2011 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • frank

      Hi Dave 🙂

      I want to set a bank account for you to deposit all your earthly posessions... after all, Jesus also said it will be easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than a rich man to pass through the gates of heaven.... So, I'm just trying to help you out here...

      Please make the deposit on the 20th of May... If you are right, you will be rewarded by the thousands in Heaven, if you are wrong, well, At least we'll know where to find you to say "I told you so"

      Good luck. 🙂

      OH yeah, I forgot... There are no Gods except the ones in your head.

      May 11, 2011 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • karen

      Hey Dave, you do realize that the bible was written by quite a few different people. Its not like God actually wrote the thing. Its funny how many people truly believe its the word of God. Its the word of lots of different men – each telling their fairy tales.

      May 11, 2011 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Linari

    Dave likes to rabble-rouse. It's ok, Dave, believe in whatever you want...but I'm with Poster#5. Please check in on May 22nd so we can see you're all right. 😉

    May 11, 2011 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Linari

    Will those teeth be yours, when you finally realize you're wrong, Dave? It's all interpretation. We are not being willfully ignorant, we just interpret thing differently.

    May 11, 2011 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
  10. banasy

    Well, there's less than 5 hours to go until it's Midnight in Rome, and I think they's have some kind of clue by now if it were going to happen. Just saying!

    May 11, 2011 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
  11. stephanie

    I'm a Christian..and I know that in the Bible, it says nothing about c for sure date! It says that NO MAN WILL KNOW! I do believe there will be a second coming but no one knows stop trying to guess the date and just share with others about The Heavenly Father!

    May 11, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Rogelio


    May 11, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  13. TvNYC

    Give Dave a break, he is just spreading what he believes you don't have to call him dumb. He may be right for all you know. With all the things that are going around the world I do believe Christ second return is imminent. It's the non believers I feel bad for. You do need to start believing you know God is there. And He knows how much we are suffering on this planet so that is why He will send His only Son to earth to save us. If you don't believe in God, please at least start reading through the bible it will get you an idea that not everything is science! Look at what is going on around the world!

    May 11, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Chris

    God did warn Noah but in the Bible it specifically says that no one knows not even the Son or the how would a regular ole man know?! He is coming back one day! That is for certain.. of the day or time.. no one knows

    May 11, 2011 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      When you say that not even the Son knows the time you are referring to Mark 13:32. The word "son" in that verse was capitialized. In the original greek the word "son" was not in capital. So when we looked at that verse we automaticly believed this was Christ. We must ask, who can this be? Christ is Almighty God and we read in Job 24:1 that times are not hidden from the Almighty. So in Mark 13:32 there must be another son in view.
      God layed down a rule in His word the Bible. That is, we are to compare spiritual with spiritual or scripture with scripture. When we do this we find that Satan was referred to as the "son of perdition" in 2 Thessalonians 2:3
      Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the "son" of perdition;

      Now we find that verse in Mark 13:32 must be Satan not knowing the time. Because Christ is the Almighty and He knows all.

      The good news is today is still the day of salvation. In 10 days May 21 2011 salvation will have come to an end.
      For more information one can go to

      May 11, 2011 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Manel

    Hearthquake in Lorca, Spain.
    5.1 degree

    May 11, 2011 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Manel

      At least 3 deaths.

      May 11, 2011 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
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