Greece/earthquake: Still suffering

News and Press Release
Originally published
The impact of the earthquake which reduced heavily populated areas of the Greek capital, Athens to rubble on 7 September - leaving some 138 people dead, 70,000 homeless and 13,000 families destitute - is far worse than first feared. Tens of thousands of people will remain homeless for weeks, or even months, to come, while thousands are unemployed following the destruction of four industrial plants and hundreds of small businesses. In order to support the Hellenic Red Cross in the assistance it is providing to earthquake victims, the International Federation has launched an appeal for 2.3 million Swiss francs, to help 50,000 people until the end of the year. The funds will provide basic shelter and essential goods to those who have lost everything and are without alternative means of support.
More than 1,500 Hellenic Red Cross staff and were mobilized for search and rescue, first aid, shelter and relief activities. Teams of first aid workers, doctors, nurses and social workers provided medical care, psychological support and relief supplies (tents, mattresses, blankets, hygiene articles, and hot meals). An average of 300 staff are in the field daily. With large numbers of people still sleeping in the open, the key needs remain shelter, blankets, mattresses, bed-linen, hygiene and baby parcels . The Hellenic Red Cross will continue its psychological support programme for traumatised victims. The replenishment of emergency stocks, and initiatives to improve the National Society's capacity to respond to future disasters are also planned. Although the consequences of the second major earthquake in recent weeks in southern Europe have dropped out of news headlines, the needs of those left destitute by the disaster remain very real.

=A9 1997 International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies