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.
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 Red Cross is running an emergency appeal to support quake-hit communities. The Irish Red Cross is accepting donations on behalf of the efforts in Italy www.redcross.ie/donate.
Italy: Red Cross teams continue with search efforts