One month after the earthquake in Central Italy, the Italian Relief Corps volunteers continue to assist survivors
A month has passed since that tragic night of 24th August when a magnitude 6 quake struck central Italy. Since then the earth has continued to shake and the latest magnitude 3.8 tremor was felt yesterday evening in Norcia, Accumoli and Arquata del Tronto. The Order of Malta’s Italian Relief Corps teams, present since the early hours of 25th August to tackle the emergency, are still assisting the local people.
“At the request of the Amatrice Comune,” explains Mauro Casinghini, national director of the Order of Malta’s Italian Relief Corps, “we’re carrying out an extensive follow-up to discover the needs of the people in Amatrice and its 68 outlying areas damaged by the quake. Teams of psychologists and health workers are visiting these districts to analyse the situation and assess the main needs”. This work is of fundamental importance during this post-emergency phase, when the media spotlight has dimmed but the difficulties of those who have lost almost everything are increasing, also because winter is around the corner.
“We’re also still supporting the municipal operations centre in Amatrice, “ Mauro Casinghini continues, “where our volunteer lawyers are offering legal assistance, for example with the formalities for the various housing possibilities, such as commodatum or renting”.
The Order of Malta’s operative centre continues to be the Amatriace Sports Stadium. Immediately after the earthquake the stadium was turned into a storage centre for basic necessities, a dispensary and an infirmary as well as a tent city. It is here that the Italian Relief Corps has handed out over 300 kg of food and personal hygiene products and has offered psychological assistance to dozens of families. In addition, some 370 people have been reached by teams of volunteers in the 68 surrounding districts.
The Order of Malta’s work does not end as the tents start being dismantled. “In line with our mission, we want to continue to assist the local population also in the post-emergency phase, helping them to rebuild their community and to revitalize the historical and cultural value of this area of Italy, so rich in tradition and fine monuments,” Mauro Casinghini has said.