Early hours of emergency


On April 6th, 2009 at 3.32 AM a violent earthquake hit L’Aquila and other municipalities in Abruzzo.  A great part of Italy feel the earthquake and the initial information refer to destroyed houses and buildings and many displaced people.

The earthquake caused 309 victims and more than 1500 injured people, and damaged private and public structure causing severe damage to the cultural heritage of the affected zone.

At 4.15 AM the Department ‘s Crisis Unit  convenes while the situation is already critic. A technical group and two team from the Department leave in order to carry out preliminary seismic observations and to support local authorities and prepare the necessary conditions to ensure national coordination.

The civil protection Operational Committee met at 4.40 AM and was chaired by the Head of the Civil Protection Department. It gathers the heads of all the administrations and structures involved in the management of the emergency.

In the morning, people and means from all over the country converged on the areas hit by the earthquake.

Damaged roads and buildings are presided and isolated to allow the rescue operations.

48 hours after the earthquake, 2,400 firefighters, more than 1,800 members of the armed forces, more than 1,500 police forces, more than 800 doctors and nurses of the Italian Red Cross, more than 4,000 civil protection volunteers and more than 100 cynophile units are on the ground.

Meanwhile, 30 reception areas are set up to provide assistance to almost 18,000 people and over 10,000 beds are provided in private homes and hotels on the coast. Also, more than 20 field kitchens are activated to distribute meals and eight sleeping compartments offered by the State Railways in response to requests made by the Civil Protection.

At the end of April 2009, the number of people assisted increased to 67,459, the maximum value reached during the emergency management.