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Italian Red Cross responds to Italy earthquake

24 August 2016

Italian Red Cross rescue teams have been supporting the search and rescue effort after a 6.2 magnitude earthquake struck the Amatrice area - 100km north east of Rome - in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

So far, 247 people are known to have been killed and 368 injured as homes and buildings collapsed.

Several people, including children, have been pulled alive from the rubble.

Search and rescue

The Italian Red Cross - part of the same international Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement as the British Red Cross - sent search and rescue teams, search and rescue dogs and 20 ambulances out to look for people.

Volunteers have also been providing first aid and emotional support to survivors in the region, which has been struck by more than 80 aftershocks.

Italian Red Cross spokesman Tommaso Della Longa said: “People are in shock, they have seen their houses collapse around them and they have lost everything. Our volunteers are with survivors now and trying to help them come to terms with this disaster.

"Huge parts of the towns hit have been completely wrecked - houses, schools, churches, are all damaged or destroyed.

"Every minute of the search for survivors is critical - our rescuers are in the rubble and are getting people out of there as soon as they can."

Mobile kitchens support survivors

The Italian Red Cross is also setting up mobile kitchens for people who have been forced to leave their damaged or destroyed homes.

A 24-hour emergency control centre has been activated in Rome, while the Red Cross is also working from a mobile operations centre in the earthquake zone.

This story was updated on Thursday 25 August.