Red Cross Samaritans providing rescue and relief following earthquakes in Greece

Publié: 4 février 2014 19:26 CET

Two strong earthquakes have hit the Greek island of Kefalonia in eight days. The first – magnitude 5.9 – occurred last Sunday afternoon and the second early this Monday morning – slightly less powerful at magnitude 5.7 – sending the already worried population into the streets in panic.

Monday morning’s earthquake, which was felt over a large area of western Greece, was followed by a severe aftershock, and rescuers are presently searching for people who might be trapped in villages around the island.

The Hellenic Red Cross has deployed two teams of Samaritans to assist with the relief and rescue work on the island. The first team was sent after the first earthquake on board the ship ‘Super Fast’ which brought doctors, medical equipment and beds to those affected.

A larger ship with 1,700 beds was sent to the island the following day provide immediate shelter for people with damaged or destroyed homes. Red Cross staff and volunteers hve been helping with registration, health provision and bringing food and blankets to the people living and working on the ships.

The Hellenic Red Cross works in close cooperation with the authorities that are coordinating the overall assistance to the island. As one of his first tasks the newly-elected president of of the society, Mr. Dionyssios Kodellas travelled to the island on Tuesday to see the relief effort first-hand and to provide support to those affected as well as staff and volunteers.

The Samaritans is the first-aid and rescue division of the Hellenic Red Cross comprising 14 permanent staff members and 4,650 active volunteers. Samaritans can be mobilized in case of a big emergency, and are present in 27 branches with trained volunteers and relief stock ready to be deployed. The Hellenic Red Cross Samaritans play a role in emergencies by national law.