Following a second major earthquake in northern Italy, the Italian Red Cross, in close cooperation with civil protection authorities, has been hard at work undertaking relief and assistance work. Over 200 staff and volunteers swung into action following the magnitude 5.8 quake which struck this morning in Emilia Romagna.
As the operation continues, more people and transport from the Settimo Torinese and Verona emergency intervention centres are arriving and will work under the direction of local authorities.
In addition to providing essential relief to those affected by the quake, the Italian Red Cross has been transporting the wounded to medical posts in evacuation camps, and has provided a much needed increase in capacity for the local ambulance services. 24 vehicles have been pressed into service.
Since the May 20 magnitude 6.0 earthquake, the region has suffered over 800 aftershocks, and experts predict more to come. An estimated 15 people have been killed in today's quake and the shocks caused significant damage to buildings. The Italian Red Cross is supporting the evaluation of buildings and other structures to ensure they are secure and, once it is safe to do so, may be involved in debris removal. Volunteers are also providing psychosocial support to displaced people.