Words cannot explain the sorrow in the eyes and in the voice of the survivors, of those who have lost their loved ones, of those who have lost everything. At 3:36 AM on August 24, a magnitude 6.2 earthquake struck Central Italy. The epicenter was in an area between Latium, Umbria, Marche and Abruzzo.
The shake involved a dozen municipalities and has virtually razed the villages of Amatrice and Accumoli, in the province of Rieti (Latium), and Arquata and Pescara del Tronto, in the province of Ascoli Piceno (Marche). At the time of writing, 278 people have died and 387 have been injured.
From the first moment hundreds of rescuers have been working to give first aid and find the missing persons, in many cases trapped in the rubble. In a race against time, the search continues unabated in the hope of finding people still alive and, so far, 238 have been saved.
More than 5,400 rescue workers including firefighters, military forces, canine units, Red Cross, Civil Protection, associations and many, many volunteers are collaborating in a big wave of solidarity. Italy is showing her most beautiful face.
“I Immediately contacted the emergency medical service and I coordinated with them to come and help,” a volunteer doctor, Brunella Pirozzi, told Olive Oil Times. She had just arrived in Sant’Angelo, a municipality in Amatrice.
“The roads are blocked, there are piles of rubble everywhere and some villages are completely collapsed. It is dreadful. But now it is time to effectively help these people. There are many injured, some of them in a critical condition, who need support to gradually return to their normal lives. Right now, the only thing that matters is to assist them with proper care.”
Many organizations are planning fundraisers. “We strongly promote a collection,” said the councilor of the Italian Red Cross, Paola Fioroni. “We are responding with a coordinated and efficient action to the needs of the community that hopefully soon will start over.”
To make donations to the Italian Red Cross you can go to their website, which also accepts useful goods, like water, plastic utensils, long-life food, new clothes, personal hygiene products. There has been so much generosity there is an excess of some household items.
Meanwhile, expressions of solidarity come from everywhere. President Obama called the president of the Italian Republic, Sergio Mattarella, to offer help and assistance.
An initiative was launched by the food blogger Paolo Campana with a call to restaurants around the world. One of the most affected village, Amatrice, is the birthplace of the famous Amatriciana pasta, made with cured pork cheek, pecorino cheese, tomato and extra virgin olive oil. “For every dish of Amatriciana ordered, €2 will be donated to the people of Amatrice and the areas hit by the earthquake,” Campana proposed.