Broll / 5:56 / MP4 / 1.3 GB

29-08-2016 | Latest News , Europe

Devastated communities struggle to come to terms after quake


Devastated communities struggle to come to terms after quake

Almost one week after an earthquake rocked Central Italy, communities are coming to terms with the devastation

Italian Red Cross volunteers, specialising in psychological support, have been working with those who have lost everything in the quake – including family members.

The Red Cross’s mobile kitchen in Amatrice is providing 800 meals a day to survivors as well as emergency services who are continuing to work 24 hours a day on the response.

Its search and rescue teams have also been working in the rubble to recover the victims from the debris.

Piero Altissimi, a member of the Red Cross rescue team, said: “When we arrived in Amatrice, only a fraction of the town had survived and there were 20 people alive in the rubble that we managed to rescue.

But this is harrowing work – in one case we were searching for a mother’s 34-year-old son. He had died.”

Altissimi also spoke of the courage of the quake hit communities he and his team from Rome have witnessed. "I was deeply moved, by the generosity and kindness the survivors showed to us, in spite of the tragedy that had struck them.

“ Everyone had lost someone but did their utmost to give us something to eat or help us as we worked.”

The Italian Red Cross is also providing emergency items to survivors such toiletries, blankets and clothes. Many of the people who have lost their homes are staying in reception centres where the Red Cross is also providing support.


Video 1

Earthquake in central Italy: Saving lives and healing souls


0:00 – 0.10

We’re in the obituary area set up for the victims of the earthquake here in Amatrice.

0.10 – 0.15

We’re here to support the relatives of the victims with our psycho-social support services

0.15 - 0.22

While other Red Cross volunteers support the civil protection and the special corps of the scientific police.

0.22 – 0.35

These volunteers are helping to transport the victims to the obituary area.

0.35 – 0.43

What we have seen when we have arrived was horrific, we were not expecting anything like this.

0.43 – 0.49

I have worked in the response to the earthquake in L’Aquila, where mainly we were providing psycho-social support,

0.49 – 1.00

While here, in the smaller context of Amatrice, we are carrying out activities that we have never carried out before, we witness realities we have not seen before.

1.00 – 1.06

Many volunteers are supporting in moving the victims and identifying bodies.

1.05 – 1.10

You can imagine what we all are witnessing

1.10 – 1.21

It is very hard. We are counting on the support of the psycho-support teams both for us volunteers and the families of the victims who wait to find their relatives.

1.21 – 1.33

The ‘SEP’ teams provide support to both families and relatives of the victims and also to volunteers responding to the emergency.

1.33 -1.41

We have been supporting families in identifying the bodies of their relatives,

1.41 – 1.49

providing support both on identifying from photos of the deceased victims

1.49 – 1.53

and accompanying them into the obituary.

1.55 – 1.58

After events like the earthquake in L’Aquila,

1.58 – 2.04

we have realised that it is not enough to take care and train our volunteers,

2.05 – 2.10

we also need to support them in the moment when a trauma can happen.

2.10 – 2.15

Working with deceased bodies involves a very hard mental process.

2.16 – 2.22

If there is no debriefing with the volunteers we are at risk of burning them out,

2.22 – 2.28

and this is something no volunteering organization can afford.

Video 2

Earthquake in central Italy: Red Cross provides foods for survivors and response teams

0.00 – 0.08

On 25 August we set up the camp here in Amatrice, and we are cooking for around 800 people both at lunch and dinner.

0.08 – 0.19

The team comprises of 30 to 35 people and we provide food to firefighters, Red Cross volunteers and all the forces responding to the emergency.

0.21 – 0.28

The kitchen deployed from Rome has been active for 24 hours and it is distributing thousands of meals both to the population and to the response teams.

0.29 – 0.35

After the structure arriving from Rome was in place, we deployed the kitchen facilities from the logistic centre in Avezzano (near L’Aquila).

0.38 – 0.46

Today we prepared pasta with mushrooms, with tomatoes and just with oil and parmesan cheese and a salad.

0.47 – 0.51

For other types of food we are getting organised in the next hours.


Video 3

Earthquake in central Italy: Italian Red Cross base camp operations

0.00 – 0.11

My name is Carlo Marella. I am the deputy regional coordinator of the Italian Red Cross’s rescue services.

We are here at the doors of the town, on the main street, via Roma.

0.12 – 0.31

Currently we are supporting the firefighters in retrieving the bodies of those who lost their lives in the quake. In the previous days we took in part in search and rescue efforts across the town.

0.47 – 0.58

Just now there was a new aftershock. We are now waiting for the return of a rescue team that went to retrieve the body of a person who died in the earthquake.

1.27 – 2.10

Relief teams were deployed in the morning of 24 August. Trained personnel were immediately sent to the affected areas to help retrieve the bodies of those who had died in the earthquake. Along with them, the Italian Red Cross also deployed volunteers from across the country to provide different services to the affected population, ranging from psychosocial support to relief efforts with special equipment. The whole national emergency system was immediately mobilised and a total of 450 volunteers were deployed to the affected areas as of 24 August.



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