The loyalty of dogs truly knows no boundaries that even death cannot stop it. As Italy begins the heartbreaking task of burying its dead, a Cocker Spaniel stood out for refusing to leave the side of his owner’s coffin.
The photo shows the furry friend sitting next to the wooden coffin. The dog refuses to move as people around him prepare for the mass funeral.
Little is known about the owner who was reportedly from Accumoli, one of the towns that suffered the most after a 6.2-magnitude earthquake struck the region in the wee hours of the morning.
The Italy earthquake death toll has now climbed to 290. Before the ceremony started, friends and family members gathered around each coffin. Hundreds attended the memorial that was filled with prayers, hymns, and readings of Bible passages. Many survivors who are still in bandages also took part.
According to CNN, the Italian Council of Ministers has allocated an initial 50 million euros for the regions that bore the brunt of the earthquake. Anti-corruption agency ANAC has been enlisted to keep an eye on the reconstruction funds.
Emergency camps offering food, medical assistance, and psychological support have been put up in several locations. There are approximately 2,500 victims living in the camps.
As Italy continues to mourn, rescuers are likewise relentless in their operations. Heavy-duty equipment and canines have been employed to make the rescue operations more efficient.
Most of the buildings that collapsed reportedly lacked anti-seismic protection. This prompted the authorities to launch several investigations.
Reuters reported that Prosecutor Giuseppe Saivea and his team are investigating some of the incidents that could have been prevented. “What happened cannot just be considered fate. If these buildings had been constructed like they are in Japan then they would not have collapsed,” he said.
One example is the bell tower that collapsed in Accumoli and killed a family of four. After a 1997 earthquake that rocked central Italy, public funds have been allocated to restructure the bell tower for it to meet anti-seismic standards.
The Romolo Capranica school in Amatrice was also renovated in 2012 to guarantee that anti-earthquake standards would be implemented. The primary school, however, did not escape the disaster’s wrath.
Residents whose contractors have failed to follow the standards could receive compensation, but homeowners who have renovated their homes without obtaining necessary permits could be prosecuted for the deaths of their family members.
Apart from declaring a state of emergency, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi also vowed to start a program, Casa Italia or Italian Homes, that will be responsible for monitoring the construction of Italian homes and buildings.
Renzi warned that not all buildings would be completely earthquake-proof because believing that everything may be controlled is an “illusory thing.” Nevertheless, he vowed to address the problem of homes and buildings that appear to be shoddily constructed.
The head of Italy’s National Council of Engineer, Armando Zabrano, told the Associated Press that reinforcing old buildings would be costly, but he said those in the riskiest areas could be prioritized first.
“We are able to prevent all these deaths. The problem is actually doing it. These tragedies keep happening because we don’t intervene. After each tragedy we say we will act but then the weeks go by and nothing happens.”
Thousands of volunteers have gathered to help the country during the trying time. The Civil Protection Department estimates that there are 5,400 workers, more than half are volunteers.
Many charities and non-profit organizations have likewise initiated various activities to aid the victims. People may choose to donate cash or non-perishable goods. Those in Italy are urged to donate blood for the injured victims.
[Photo by Andrew Medichini/AP Images]