PESCARA DEL TRONTO, ITALY (AUGUST 25, 2016) (DANIELE MORINI) – A group of sub-Saharan and North African migrants are taking part in relief efforts in the towns devastated by Wednesday’s (August 24) 6.2 magnitude earthquake in the Italian town of Pescara del Tronto.
The migrants, who lived through the frightening moments of the natural disaster, said they were moved by the suffering of the locals desperate for news of loved ones and offered to help.
Many of the migrants said they did not even know what an earthquake was before this disaster and were deeply saddened by the scale of casualties.
“We have seen people who have lost their lives. We are sad, we too, feel bad for what is happening here,” said Abdullah, who comes from Benin.
The migrants, who are seeking asylum in Italy, helped clear a field for tents and to create a helipad the day after the quake struck the town (August 25).
“It is the first time we are doing volunteer work here and giving a hand to the people here. We did some volunteering in other communes, we worked as volunteers in Acquaviva and helped the people there. We need to help the people here, we feel the need to help them because we’ve seen people losing their lives and we feel bad and want to help. It’s to show respect to them and their dignity,” added Abdullah.
The death toll from the earthquake rose to 267 on Friday (August 26). The civil protection department in Rome said nearly 400 people were being treated for injuries in hospitals, and local media reports said about 40 of them were in critical condition.