Earthquake in Italy
An injured man walks past his destroyed house after an earthquake in the Italian village of Onna April 6, 2009. (Chris Helgren/REUTERS/courtesy www.alertnet.org)
At 3:32 a.m. on Monday, April 6th, a 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck the city of L'Aquila in the central Abruzzo region of Italy, 120 km northeast of Rome. 290 people died, more than 1,500 were injured and roughly 28,000 have been left homeless.
Red Cross Response
Italian Red Cross rescue teams were on the scene of the disaster within an hour after the earthquake struck. Hundreds of volunteers and staff have been providing survivors with thousands of daily meals, blankets, potable water and sanitation, psycho-social support and emergency shelter since this devastating event shattered their lives.
Now, in partnership with the Italian Government and other Red Cross Societies, the Italian Red Cross is helping the people of the Abruzzo region rebuild their lives.
The Village of Onna
The village of Onna sits 580 meters above the city of L’Aquila. It is over 1,000 years old and home to 350 people.
On April 6th, 41 residents of Onna lost their lives, the highest proportion of fatalities of any village in the region. The few buildings that weren’t completely destroyed were left unstable and uninhabitable.
Many of Onna’s survivors have been living in tent camps since the earthquake struck.
Canadian Red Cross
The Italian Red Cross has asked the Canadian Red Cross to help them support the people of Onna through the construction of transitional housing and a social centre for the village. Construction has already begun on 94 houses that are scheduled to be completed in time for winter.
These buildings will be wood-framed to better absorb seismic activity in the region.
Canadians wishing to make a financial donation may call 1-800-418-1111 or contact their local Canadian Red Cross office. The 24-hour toll free line accepts Visa, MasterCard and American Express. Cheques should be made payable to the Canadian Red Cross, earmarked “Italian Earthquake” and mailed to the Canadian Red Cross National Office, 170 Metcalfe Street, Suite 300, Ottawa, Ontario, K2P 2P2.
To read more about the Italian Red Cross response please click here.