The Abruzzo Quake

April 7, 2009 / Events
Abruzzo

Dear Readers,
Many of you have written and expressed solidarity with those whose lives have one way or another been dramatically affected by yesterday’s earthquake in Abruzzo. If you are interesting in contributing here are a few ways you can.

NIAF (National Italian American Foundation) has set up a fund for this purpose; Relief Fund.
Another option is through the Italian Red Cross: Croce Rossa Italiana.

Last night saw more aftershocks, freezing temps, and some rain which contributed to making the emergency work and relief efforts even more difficult. Nonetheless, upwards of 100 survivors have been extracted from the rubble thanks to the continuous efforts of the fire departments and rescue teams.

Relief efforts that also need to be pointed out include the temporary medical camps that have been created. One story involves A. who was in labor during the pre-shocks around midnight, and who three hours later when the main quake hit grabbed her newborn in one arm and her I-V drip in the other and b-lined it out of the hospital, now attended by the medical teams, safely in one of these camps.

Other efforts involve sheltering all the people whose homes were destroyed as well as those who can’t return until engineers determine whether their homes are condemned or livable. This is expected to take months. One new temporary camp resident, ninety year old Signora N., lost her entire home as it crumbled around her, blocking her in her bedroom for 30 hours until the rescue team managed to dig through this morning and pull her out. When asked how she kept calm and passed the time, she said “I sat in my bed and did crochet.” …30 hours.

While sad, it is important that psychological counseling too is already being offered to those need it. One cannot imagine what V. and his brother are going through after losing their elderly parents who came to visit them for the Easter holidays; their mother’s body was found shielding their disabled father’s body. This is only one of the many tragic stories that are slowly emerging in the aftermath of the earthquake.

It must however be pointed out that many Abruzzesi immediately began helping each other. As 75 year old N. said on his way to finally rest after 30 hours of helping others, “I was lucky. I only lost my house. Others lost much more. What else was I going to do?” This very pragmatic Abruzzese way of approaching hardship certainly explains how they have managed to already begin the enormous task of rebuilding their lives, towns, and communities.

That said, knowing that others around the world are close to them in facing this task is extremely important. And for this they already give thanks. Your help is truly appreciated.

Kind regards,
ed.

GB

by GB Bernardini

Editor, Italian Notebook

20 Responses to “The Abruzzo Quake”

  1. I’ve put a link to your information for those wishing to make contributions on my post about the earthquake.

    Reply
  2. Beautifully done…I continue to pray for more miracles to emerge from this tragedy.

    Wish you had a link to post your stories on Facebook….that would be a great way to spread the word on how to help.

    Thanks again.

    Reply
  3. tamryn

    GB-Thanks so much for giving us something we can do in this terrible time. Hoping for many more rescue stories to be reported from the scene…..

    Reply
  4. Valerie

    GB, Thanks for posting these uplifting stories. It is nice to see something heartwarming amidst the rubble. I also linked to it from my blog.

    Reply
  5. Donna Becker

    Thank you! Thank you, for posting this information. We’ll be contributing to the relief funds. Please keep us posted as you’re able to gather more news.

    Reply
  6. jojo

    Thank you for expressing compassion and direction as to how we may help in a real way our loved ones, our families in Italy,for many too a prayer would be most welcome.
    jojo

    Reply
  7. Angelina Limato

    I have posted links to the NIAF (National Italian American Foundation) on Facebook. The donation processs was easy using a credit card. I feel for all those involved and it is hard not to cry and to try to keep composure when reading or seeing pictures. We know how 9-11 felt. I can only try to imagine what it is like and wish I had more power to do more. Thanks for posting and keeping us informed.

    Reply
  8. Linda Boccia

    We in SAn Francisco know a lot about earthquakes and our hearts and prayers are with all those affected in Abruzzo and particularly in Aquila.
    In 1989 Italians sent aid to San Francisco and we really appreciated it.
    Blessings for all and we will be sending aid. My father in-law was Abruzzeso so our connections are many.

    Reply
  9. Denyse'

    I wanted to thank you for the Notebook today. One of the dearest people I know was close to the quake, and when I heard about it yesterday I was devastated, and have been watching the news steadily for updates.

    There is an amazing kind of courage shown in times like this, and your note exhibits the real spirit of Italian heart and strength, her people. My prayers are with all who have been affected by this tragedy, to those lost, those yet to be found, and to those who will now have to literally rebuild their lives.

    Thank you again for the note, and its wonderful stories. Please do keep us updated, I’m sure there will be many stories worthy of telling once life returns to a kind of normalcy again.

    Love, Blessings, and prayers to everyone….

    Reply
  10. TINA OLSON

    DEAR MR. GB AND FRIENDS AND FAMLIES,

    I WAS HOPING YOU AND YOUR TEAM WOULD GIVE US ADDITIONAL NEWS FROM THAT HORRIBLE EARTHQUAKE IN ITALY,

    THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS YOU

    YOU HAVE BEEN IN OUR HEARTS AND PRAYERS SINCE WE RECIEVED THE DEVASTATING NEWS OVER THE BBC INTERNET SITE.

    TINA AND GLENS

    Reply
  11. Joyce Iannucci Synek

    thank you so much for the upsdate and the stories. it is hard here in chicago to get any real information. My family is from abruzzi. I have a cousin Sulmona and have not been able to reach her. I have been trying to get a list of all the towns that were affected. We were in Abruzzi in 1997 when the quake hit Assisi. My heart and my prayers go out to all my family and their friends. Please keep the stories coming as long as you can. If anyone has any infothey can e-mail me at jasynek@yahoo.com. thank you very much, Joyce

    Reply
  12. I wanted to know in the Croce Rossa Italiana I don’t see the United States on there to donate money via master card or visa. Can someone let me know which one it is?
    Thank you
    Erika

    Reply
  13. Sincere thanks for this article, a rough dig into the tradegies that many of us were aware of, but could never know how it really felt.

    Reply
  14. Camille Gallo on June 16,2008 at 5:15 pm

    My husband and I sent a donation from the US through the TD Bank and the Red Cross to be used for the earthquake tragedy. Our prayers are wwith the survivors and rescue workers and also those who didn’t make it, God Bless You All.

    Reply

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