Filipinos in Rome gather aid for quake victims

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A recent 6.2 magnitude earthquake in central Italy has caused severe destruction. (Photo: Caritas Italiana)

MANILA, Aug. 26, 2016 — The Filipino community in Rome has begun efforts to help in the relief effort for the victims of Italy’s deadly quake.

Fr. Ricky Gente, chaplain for Filipinos in Rome, said they are collecting money they plan to direct to a Church charity that can help with medicine, food, clothing, and other basic needs.

“We are mobilizing communities to help the victims of the earthquake. All the money and food that will be collected will go to the Caritas Rome,” explained the priest.

Italy has declared a state of emergency in areas devastated by the 6.2-magnitude earthquake that struck central Italy, killing at least 250 people and injuring more than 360 others.

The quake also displaced more than 1,000 people, including some 50 Filipinos, who are now staying in evacuation centers in the towns of Amatrice, Norcia.

“Thank God, no Filipino perished or was seriously hurt,” said Philippine Ambassador to Italy Domingo Nolasco. “A few lost their jobs in Amatrice. Filipinos in Terni are also safe.”

Catholic charities have been providing food to rescue workers and people affected by Wednesday’s earthquake.

Caritas Italy has allocated an initial €100,000 for the relief efforts. Caritas offices also offered accommodation to people forced from their homes, and where possible are providing counseling and basic necessities.

The Italian bishops have immediately made available €1 million in response to the earthquake as they call for more support for the Church’s relief efforts.

In Manila, Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, who heads Caritas Internationalis, expressed his condolences and sympathies to the victims.

He also asked Filipinos to join him in praying for the victims and survivors of the devastating earthquake. (Roy Lagarde/CBCPNews) 

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