Strong tremor strikes near Amatrice

A 4.2 magnitude tremor struck close to Amatrice, the central Italian town devastated by a 6.0 earthquake in August 2016, overnight.

Strong tremor strikes near Amatrice
The remains of Amatrice, taken on August 23rd 2017. Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP

The quake, which was felt in Rome, was registered at 00.34am, with a depth of 8km, in an area 3km away from Amatrice. The town’s mayor, Sergio Pirozzi, said that while the tremor caused panic among the population, many of whom are still living in container homes, there are no reports yet of damage or injuries.

Aftershocks have continued to wrack the region since August 23rd 2016, when almost 300 people died in a quake measuring 6.0. Amatrice bore the brunt, with the majority of the victims being buried under the town's collapsed masonry. Lives were also claimed in the villages of Arquata del Tronto and Pescara del Tronto, both in the Marche region, in Saletta, a one-street hamlet close to Amatrice, and in Accumoli, a hilltop village close to the quake's epicentre.

A quake measuring 6.6 – Italy’s strongest in decades – then struck the Umbrian town of Norcia in late October 2016. Buildings were destroyed but nobody died, mainly because many had fled their homes following two smaller tremors a few days early.

Less than 10 percent of the 4,000 tonnes of rubble littering the 140 hamlets, towns and cities affected by the series of tremors has been cleared, with anti-corruption controls slowing work on the ground.

Meanwhile in August this year, and just a few days before the first anniversary of the Amatrice tragedy, a 4.2 magnitude quake hit the island of Ischia, in the Bay of Naples, killing two people. 



Turkish community in Germany gathers to help earthquake victims

The earthquake in Turkey and northern Syria has shaken the whole of Germany - but especially those who have relatives in the disaster area. 

Turkish community in Germany gathers to help earthquake victims

In dozens of cities in Germany, donations are being collected for victims of the massive earthquake, which as of Wednesday afternoon had claimed more than 11,000 lives.

People are bringing tent stoves, flashlights, diapers, fleece blankets, and hand warmers. One of the many collection points has been organized by the German-Turkish care service Dosteli in Berlin.

At the governmental level, Germany — home to about three million people of Turkish origin — will” mobilise all the assistance we can activate”, Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said on Wednesday.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz had a call with Erdogan and sent his “deep condolences”, as a search and rescue team left Tuesday afternoon with 50 rescuers and equipment. 

​​The EU said it was “funding humanitarian organisations that are carrying out search and rescue operations” in Syria as well as providing water and sanitation support and distributing blankets.

Charities line up to help

Particularly in Berlin, where over eight percent of the population is of Turkish origin, people have lined up down streets to drop off supplies. But they have led large donation efforts in cities like Frankfurt and Hamburg, where several businesses like bars set aside space to collect supplies,

The Dostali team had been sorting clothes and hygiene items all night, packing them and loading them into trucks. “Almost the entire Turkish diaspora in Berlin was there,” one volunteer told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ)

The helpers organized themselves via appeals in social media. From the collection points, the donations are to be transported by trucks and planes to the affected regions. 

READ ALSO: Who are Germany’s foreign population and where do they live?

In response to an inquiry from the FAZ, Turkish Airlines confirmed that it was delivering donations from 14 countries to the Turkish crisis areas, Germany being one of them.

The Turkish community in Germany is well connected via social media – “and everyone wants to help,” said Kübra Oguz, a volunteer with the Puduhepa e.V., initiative founded by Turkish migrant women.

In order for this to happen in a targeted manner, she recommended directly donating money, which could then be funneled to buy food, hygiene products or shoes, depending on the need.

Several organisations in Germany and worldwide are also accepting donations for humanitarian aid, include UNICEF, Save the Children and Aktion Deutschland Hilft.

With reporting from AFP.