Credit: SIR – Servizio Informazione Religiosa

Caritas Italy continues to respond to families left homeless by the magnitude-6.0 earthquake that shook northern Italy last weekend. The quake was the worst to hit the country since the L’Aquila tremor killed nearly 300 people in central Italy in 2009.

Don Francis Soddu, director of Caritas Italiana, has been visiting the affected area, the dioceses are most affected are Modena, Bologna and Ferrara. Soddu stresses that Caritas’ existing network of relationships helped it get involved immediately through the local dioceses. “People have confidence in solidarity here. The network of charity in Italy has always mobilized and been a source of generosity and good will.” In the area of Emilia-Romagna, Caritas is setting up a center to match people’s needs with what has been given. Volunteers are talking to the affected people and finding out what is most urgently needed.

Caritas Italy reports that there is still much fear about aftershocks. Italy’s Civil Defence is managing camps set up for displaced families. Caritas is ready to work with the Defence force to aid victims.

Charities from all over Italy have already expressed their willingness to help, as has the international Caritas network. Because reconstruction is often the most difficult phase after such shocks, Caritas Italy believes that medium- and long-term help will be especially important.