Aug 25, 2016
By Jane Brown
The death toll in central Italy has risen to 250, following yesterday’s strong earthquake and aftershocks which have reduced three towns to rubble.
At least one Canadian’s among the victim but Foreign Affairs has not provided an identity nor any other information.
Rescue crews with bulldozers worked through the night to dig out survivors buried in debris.
Italy’s civil protection agency also now reports that at least 365 people have been injured.
Response from the Canadian-Italian community is expected to be swift, in the same way as in 2009 when a devastating quake leveled the country’s Abruzzo region, killing 309.
“First priority is to save lives and immediately right after that we’ll assist the people in need and all the displaced,” Italian Consul General Giuseppe Pastorelli told Jane Brown on Zoomer Radio’s Fight Back with Libby Znaimer.
Bob Sacco, president of the National Federation of Canadian Italian Business and Professional Associations, says while it’s still early, his organization is looking at options to support recovery efforts.
Sacco says the first step is reach out to the right people in Italy once rescue efforts are complete and come up with an effective plan.
He says in 2009, the Abruzzo Earthquake Relief Fund raised $2-million for a new medical research facility at the University of L’Aquila in one of the towns hit hardest by that earthquake.