Italian Red Cross rescue teams have been supporting the search and rescue effort and volunteers have also been providing first aid and emotional support to survivors in the region. Photo: Marco Di Francesco / Italian Red Cross
Italian Red Cross rescue teams have been supporting the search and rescue effort after a 6.2 magnitude earthquake in central Italy in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
The towns of Amatrice, Accumoli and Arquata del Tronto village are the among the worst hit by the quake, which struck at 3:30 a.m on August 24. So far, 247 people are known to have been killed and 368 injured as homes and buildings collapsed.
Italian Red Cross spokesman Tommaso Della Longa said: “People are in shock, they 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.
"Huge parts of the towns hit have been completely wrecked - houses, schools, churches, are all damaged or destroyed.
"Every minute of the search for survivors is critical - our rescuers are in the rubble and are getting people out of there as soon as they can."
Mobile kitchens are also being set up for people who have been forced to leave their homes and a 24-hour emergency control centre has been activated in Rome, while the Red Cross is also working from a mobile operations centre in the quake zone.
The Canadian Red Cross has a roster of trained personnel ready to be deployed if needed.
For Canadians wishing to support the response, the Canadian Red Cross has opened a specific Italy Earthquake Appeal fund for relief operations. Canadians can support the fund any time by donating online, calling 1-800-418-1111 or by contacting their local Canadian Red Cross office.