On a National Day of Mourning in Italy for Abruzzo earthquake victims, ways to help

laquilagoogleearthThe terrain of L’Aquila in Abruzzo, from the N by NW as seen by Google Earth

Our Pina Pasquantonio (AAR Assistant Director for Operations, and abruzzese) writes from the American Academy in Rome:

“As many of you may already know the region of Abruzzo and, more specifically, the town of L’Aquila and its immediate surroundings were struck by a terrible earthquake on Monday.  The death toll has risen above 280 and over 20,000 people are homeless.  L’Aquila is a beautiful medieval town and most of its historic monuments have been very seriously damaged, if not destroyed.  The end is not in sight yet as the tremors continue and people are spending nights outside of their homes in cars or in tents.”

“On Friday 10 April there will be a state funeral for the victims.  It has been declared a National Day of Mourning and we will be flying our flags at half mast to show our participation in this moment of great sadness for Italy”

“Those who wish to contribute funds, which is what is most desperately needed, can contribute to the Protezione Civile.  The Protezione Civile is made up of volunteers (like the National Guard except they are all civilians) who intervene when calamity strikes.”

“Contributions can also be made directly to the Regione Abruzzo, or to the Italian Red Cross (Croce Rossa Italiana). And both Corriere della Sera and La Repubblica are collecting funds for victims of the earthquake.”

Other ways to give are through established institutions such as Caritas Italiana and (or the preservation of the affected cultural patrimony of Abruzzo) the Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali.

The community of the American Academy in Rome extends its heartfelt sympathy to the many victims of this massive disaster, and is exploring ways to give as a group to the relief efforts. This Weblog will post updates on how members of the AAR Society of Fellows can help.

laquilapiazzaThe Piazza della Repubblica in L’Aquila, in summer 2008 and then after the 6 April 2009 earthquake. Credits: Google Streetview; Reuters.


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