Thousands remain homeless after earthquakes in northern Italy Order of Malta - Permanent Observer Mission

29/05/2012

Thousands remain homeless after earthquakes in northern Italy

The Italian Association of the Order of Malta provides emergency shelters, manages camp

Following two deadly earthquakes which sent tremors throughout northern Italy over the past 10 days, the Italian Rescue Corps of the Order of Malta (CISOM) has been providing relief in the disaster region. Immediately after the event and during the following days, CISOM volunteers were on the field to support the local authorities, ready to provide additional help where required.

CISOM was given the task to set up and manage a camp to host about 250 people in the area of Bon Porto. Photo: CISOM

CISOM was given the task to set up and manage a camp to host about 250 people in the area of Bon Porto. Photo: CISOM

Shortly after the first 5.9-magnitude earthquake hit the area of Modena, Mantova and Ferrara on 20 May, Italy’s National Department of Civil Protection ordered the deployment of the CISOM’s on-site assessment team, in order to evaluate the damages and identify any additional needs in the region, as well as to facilitate the use of resources. CISOM’s director, Mauro Casinghini, participated in the operative committee convened by the National Department to coordinate the actions on the spot and to assess the need to employ national volunteer organisations.

Even several days later, tremors continued to be felt in the region. Following a strong aftershock on 24 May, CISOM was given the task to set up and manage a camp to host about 250 people in the area of Bon Porto, close to Modena city. CISOM has provided logistical equipment for the camp installation, such as tents, kitchens, bathrooms, social tents, and storage tents, and is currently working on camp management and offering support to the displaced population.

A second strong earthquake on 29 May caused the Italian Rescue Corps to send 100 extra beds to the camp, extending its capacity to 300 beds.

About 60 volunteers have been employed in the relief operations thus far, and about 15 volunteers per day will support the camp’s management in the coming weeks.

The 20 May quake was the worst to hit Italy since the L’Aquila tremor that killed nearly 300 people in 2009. Many buildings have been destroyed, and more than 7,000 people have left their homes.

The Italian Association of the Order of Malta is a Malteser International member organisation. Malteser International is ready to provide assistance to its Italian partners when required.