As you probably already know, on the night of April 6 a strong earthquake (5.8 on the Richter scale) hit the region of Abruzzo in central Italy. The medieval city of L’Aquila, the region’s capital, was hit hard and other minor cities around it, like Onna, have been almost completely destroyed. The buildings were too old to withstand the earthquake, and homes, churches and monuments made of stone collapsed or were severely damaged. There are 281 victims, with a lot of students making up the toll as l’Aquila is mostly a university city. The number of victims is likely to grow as the search among the rubble continues through Easter.
Thousands of persons have been left without a home. The earth continues to tremble and the aftershocks make it impossible for a lot of people to go back into their homes, many of which are severely damaged and which could come down at any moment.
A great number of volunteers have arrived from all of Italy: it is in moments of need like this that we Italians truly feel part of the same community and are able to give our best. In truth, aid is arriving from all over the world which shows how much Italy is loved.
Local news in Italy say that at this point it is best to send money as there are already enough volunteers and material aid. For donations, it is better to use well-known official channels such as the Red Cross:
- Italian Red Cross: http://www.cri.it/donazioni/
- Red Cross US : www.redcross.org/
- Red Cross UK: http://www.redcross.org.uk/news.asp?id=93875
There will be a need for a large, sustained effort to recover and reconstruct as there are so many people left with nothing. We hope that even after this tragedy will no longer be at the top of the news, aid and funds will continue to arrive and that the promises made by politicians in Rome will be maintained.
All of us in the Discover Tuscany team wish to express our feeling of solidarity and sorrow to all of the families that have been hit by this tragedy.
About Stefano Romeo
Stefano is a native from Florence but with a quarter of Sienese blood in his DNA and many years living in Pisa is a true Tuscan. He is still learning that his homeland has many corners and hidden gems he has to discover, ones he particularly enjoys seeing from the saddle of his bike.