Italy: Search for survivors continues as quake-hit communities count cost of disaster

Published: 26 August 2016

Geneva/Budapest, 26 August 2016 – Thousands of homes, buildings and infrastructure have been destroyed or damaged by the 6.2 magnitude earthquake that struck central Italy in the early hours of Wednesday (24 August) morning.

Italian Red Cross rescuers with specialist equipment and sniffer dogs are continuing to search through the rubble in the hope of finding survivors. More than 500 volunteers are on the ground providing emergency supplies, first aid and psychosocial support to people affected by the disaster.

Italian Red Cross president Francesco Rocca said: “People are in shock.  Hundreds of families have seen their houses collapse around them and they have lost everything.

“Our volunteers are with survivors now and trying to help them come to terms with this disaster.”

 Dozens of buildings have been destroyed and access to the worst-hit  towns including Amatrice, Accumoli and Arquata del Tronto village.

“Huge parts of the towns hit have been completely wrecked – houses, schools, churches, are all damaged or destroyed,” said Rocca

“Our priority is making sure people are safe and have the emergency support they need like food, water and medical care.”

The Italian Red Cross is running two mobile kitchens  to provide  hot meals to survivors in the worst-affected areas. Its fleet of ambulances and specialist vehicles are also working across the quake-hit area.

At least 250 people have been killed and dozens more have been injured.

Strong aftershocks are continuing to rattle the area, with a 4.5 magnitude tremor today which further damaged buildings in the area.

“Aftershocks are continuing – we are making sure people know what to do when a quake strikes and how to try and stay safe,” said Rocca.

The Italian Red Cross is running an emergency appeal to support quake-hit communities. To make a donation, go to the Italian Red Cross website.

Italian Red Cross spokesperson Tommaso Della Longa is available for interview in Rome.  Please contact: + 39 340 2413114 or follow @TDellaLonga

For more information contact:

In Budapest:

Nichola Jones, emergency communications delegate, IFRC Europe

Email: | Tel: +36 70 430 6506  | Twitter: @nicjones81

In Geneva:

Benoit Carpentier, team leader, public communications, IFRC

Email: | Tel: +41 79 213 24 13 | Twitter: @BenoistC