SHELTERBOX AND ROTARY CLUBS TAKE ACTION FOLLOWING EARTHQUAKE IN ITALY

A 6.2-magnitude earthquake struck central Italy early Wednesday, killing more than 240 people and trapping an unknown number beneath rubble. Tremors were felt as far away as Rome, 100 km (65 miles) southwest of the quake's epicenter.

International disaster relief agency and Rotary International project partner ShelterBox is sending a response team from its headquarters in the United Kingdom to the remote mountainous area of Italy where the destruction is most severe. The response team will arrive Friday, 26 August, to assess the area's needs.

Luca Della Volta, president of ShelterBox Italia, the affiliate organization in Genoa, will accompany the response team. Della Volta is working with the Rotary Club of Rieti in District 2080, the club closest to the earthquake-affected sites, and will meet with officials of the Italian Civil Protection Department, fire department, and Red Cross to coordinate efforts.

If families and individuals made homeless by the disaster need emergency shelter, ShelterBox will send tents and other equipment from its locations in Italy and other sites across Europe. Della Volta says the most urgent need is for tents and relief supplies for the hospital of Rieti, where most of the patients from the destroyed hospital in Amatrice were taken.

"I am truly heartbroken over what has happened," says Della Volta, charter president of the Rotary E-Club of 2042 Italia. "As Rotarians, we are always available to help people in need."

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