Devastated communities struggle to come to terms after quake

Publié: 30 août 2016 16:44 CET

By Nichola Jones, IFRC

Almost one week after an earthquake rocked Central Italy, communities are coming to terms with the devastation.

Italian Red Cross volunteers, specialising in psychological support,  have been working with those who have lost everything in the quake – including family members.

The Red Cross’s mobile kitchen in Amatrice is providing 800 meals a day to survivors as well as emergency services who are continuing to work 24 hours a day on the response.

Its search and rescue teams have also been working in the rubble to recover the victims from the debris.

Piero  Altissimi, a member of the Red Cross rescue team, said: “When we arrived in Amatrice, only a fraction of the town had survived and there were 20 people alive in the rubble that we managed to rescue.

But this is harrowing work – in one case we were searching for a mother’s 34-year-old son.  He had died.”

Altissimi also spoke of the courage of the quake hit communities he and his team from Rome have witnessed.  "I  was deeply moved, by the generosity and kindness the survivors showed to us, in spite of the tragedy that had struck them.

“ Everyone had lost someone but did their utmost to give us something to eat or help us as we worked.”

The Italian Red Cross is also providing emergency items to survivors such toiletries, blankets and clothes.  Many of the people who have lost their homes are staying in reception centres where the Red Cross is also providing support.