How Canadians can help victims of the quake in Italy
Jackie Dunham, CTVNews.ca
Published Wednesday, August 24, 2016 3:45PM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, August 27, 2016 7:48PM EDT
After a 6.2 magnitude earthquake devastated three towns in central Italy early Wednesday morning, the Italian Canadian community is banding together to help provide assistance.
The earthquake struck at 3:36 a.m. local time and has killed at least 290 people and injured hundreds more. In some of the hardest-hit towns, such as Amatrice, entire blocks of buildings have been demolished and many people have lost their homes.
Silvana Tibollo, the president of the National Congress of Italian Canadians (NCIC),Toronto district, said her organization is collecting donations to put towards finding proper accommodations and supplies for survivors.
“It’s the time of the year when we’re coming to the end of summer and children are going to be returning to school,” Tibollo told CTV Toronto on Wednesday. “Are there going to be means for these families to get back to a somewhat normal life?”
Tibollo has been coordinating local, provincial and national relief efforts in Canada through the Toronto branch of the NCIC. She says her office has been flooded with calls all morning from Canadians asking how they can help.
“People who wish to make donations can do so through their national congress offices locally across Canada,” she told CTV News Channel. “They can contact their district office if they’d like to make a donation.”
Tibollo says that Canadians are also able to set up monetary donations through the Italian Canadian Savings and Credit Union which is located in Woodbridge, ON. Tibollo says the NCIC hasn’t been in direct contact with Italian authorities on what their specific needs are at this time, but they will update their Facebook page with any updates they receive from them.
“Our community and the community at large, has been very helpful in the past (during earthquakes),” she said. “Certainly, whatever we can do, we’ll do.”
Tibollo said she hopes the donated money will go towards buying medical supplies, temporary shelters and eventually rebuilding efforts.
In a statement, the federal government said Canada “stands ready to provide assistance to Italy,” and that it’s “closely monitoring the situation” in Italy.
“The Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa and Canadian offices in Rome are in contact with local authorities and stand ready to provide consular assistance to Canadian citizens as required,” said Global Affairs Canada spokesperson Austin Jean.
“Canadian citizens in Italy requiring emergency consular assistance should contact the Embassy of Canada in Rome at +39 06-85444-2911, or call the department's 24-7 Emergency Watch and Response Centre collect at +1 613 996 8885. An email can also be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Here are a few other ways to help:
- Canadians wishing to make a donation to the National Congress of Italian Canadians Toronto district can call 416-531-9964.
- Donate to the Canadian Red Cross, call 1-800-418-1111 or contact your local Canadian Red Cross office.
- Donate directly to the Italian Red Cross.
- Donate to Save the Children, which has launched response efforts in Amatrice.