A 6.2-magnitude earthquake struck several towns in Italy early Wednesday. Accumoli and Amatrice were the towns most affected by the devastation. While rescuers have already started their operations, civilians can also support the victims of the disaster.
Those in Italy can donate blood at the San Camillo de Lellis General Hospital in Rieti to aid those who have been injured. Interested donors must bring their identification cards.
Several schools and boutiques in Rieti are likewise accepting food, water, clothing, bedding, medicine, and batteries. Nonperishable goods may be dropped off at several places.
The Italian Red Cross also urges people to temporarily lift their Wi-Fi passwords for both victims and rescue workers.
More companies are starting to cooperate too. Deliveroo Italia announced that they are donating a portion of their earnings to the local Red Cross. McDonalds and KFC have done their parts as well by extending food to the affected areas.
Meanwhile, those outside Italy can visit La Stampa’s donation fund link. The Italian newspaper is gathering funds which they will use to rebuild schools and healthcare facilities ruined by the earthquake. Donors may specify if they want their assistance to go to “Fund 597 Earthquake in Central Italy” or “Fondo 597 Terremoto Centro Italia.”
ShelterBox confirmed that they’re already heading to Italy. The charity distributes boxes to communities affected by disasters. These boxes include essentials like solar lamps, thermal blankets, tents, water purification equipment, and even coloring books to help alleviate the trauma of children. Donors may send financial support to ShelterBox to help a family in need.
Concerned individuals may similarly coordinate with the Italian Red Cross. MoneyGram just announced that they will waive all transaction fees for Red Cross donations.
Donations may be made through the company’s website or any MoneyGram counters in the U.S. Up to $249.99 per transaction will be accepted. Each donation must be submitted under the “Red Cross Disaster Relief.” The waived fee for donations will last until September 30.
The National Italian American Foundation are accepting donations as well to aid their rescue operations.
Italian-American businesses have initiated fundraising efforts to aid the country. According to NY1, the Italian American Museum in Little Italy aims to raise half a million dollars to provide relief for the shocked families.
“We’re hopefully going to raise a half a million dollars. Keeping history alive here and hoping to help those small towns and villages nearly obliterated continue to carry on,” said museum president Dr. Joseph Scelsa.
At least 247 people have died after an earthquake struck at around 3:30 a.m. A 4.5-magnitude aftershock followed in less than two hours. Authorities have warned that many of the victims were children.
As reported by the Telegraph, 4,300 local service workers have been tasked to use heavy equipment for the rescue operations. It is believed that dozens are still trapped in the ruins of Accumoli, Amatrice, Pescara del Tronto, and Arquata del Tronto.
“Now that daylight has come, we see that the situation is even more dreadful than we feared with buildings collapsed, people trapped under the rubble and no sound of life.”
Amatrice mayor Sergio Pirozzi said that “half of the town is gone.”
The country’s prime minister, Mattero Renzi, asked everyone to remember the victims who are still in daze.
“Right now we feel terrible pain. Italy is a family that has been hit and struck, but we are not going to be stopped. From tomorrow, and in the next few months, we’ll work on reconstruction. But now is a time to pray and shed tears; a moment for respect and pain for all Italians for this huge shock.”
In 2009, a 6.3-magnitude earthquake killed more than 300 in the Aquila region. Three years later, another earthquake left 23 people dead and 14,000 homeless in the northern part of the Emilia Romagna region.
[Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images]