Italy

Italy: Earthquake DREF Operation No. MDRIT001 Update No. 1

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Situation Report
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Originally published
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GLIDE EQ-2009-000072-ITA

The International Federation's Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) is a source of un-earmarked money created by the Federation in 1985 to ensure that immediate financial support is available for Red Cross and Red Crescent response to emergencies. The DREF is a vital part of the International Federation's disaster response system and increases the ability of national societies to respond to disasters.

Period covered by this update: 9 April to 14 April 2009.

CHF 700,000 (USD 613,944 or EUR 460,808) has been allocated from the International Federation's Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to support the Italian Red Cross in delivering immediate assistance to 15,000 beneficiaries.

This DREF operation is an opportunity for Partner National Societies and donors to support the Italian Red Cross in its ongoing operations, and un-earmarked contributions to replenish DREF are therefore highly encouraged.

Summary: A strong earthquake measuring 6.3 on the Richter scale hit central Italy on 6 April 2009. Some 298 people have been killed and 15 are still missing, with around 1,000 injured and 28,000 homeless. Several aftershocks hit the region in the following week. The Italian Red Cross is supporting the affected population with food and nonfood items as well as psychological support in order to overcome the most urgent needs.

This operation is expected to be implemented over a period of three months, and will therefore be completed by 7 July, 2009. A Final Report will be made available by 7 October 2009.

The situation

At 7:42 pm on 7 April another quake hit Abruzzo province in central Italy measuring 5.7 on the Richter scale. The shock was felt in the offices of the Italian Red Cross headquarters in Rome, some 120 km from L'Aquila, where Red Cross staff was still busy coordinating the humanitarian operation in this late hour. The aftershocks that continued since then in the region with another strong one on 13 April measuring 5.0 on the Richter scale increased the tension and added work for the 750 staff and volunteers of the Italian Red Cross working in the disaster zone.

According to the latest information 298 people were killed by the earthquake. Thousands of people rendered homeless are receiving help from various national agencies, among which the Italian Red Cross is providing water, hot meals and warm blankets in the tent camps. Rain and persistent cold have made life difficult in the camps. Many people are moving towards the Adriatic coast, being accommodated in hotels.

The Italian government has not requested international assistance, drawing upon national resources to address the most urgent needs. The Italian Red Cross has launched a National Appeal of solidarity that will enable it to carry out operations also in the medium and long term, providing adequate shelter, warm clothes, food provisions and psychosocial support for the survivors.