Local Italy earthquake help

April 6, 2009 9:15:17 PM PDT
The Italian Consul General has called a meeting of various Italian organizations Tuesday to discuss how they can help the victims financially and otherwise. In anticipation of that gathering, members of some of those organizations gathered Monday night, some of them worried for those unaccounted for.

As images of the devastation in Italy flashed on a TV screen Italian-Americans worried about relatives and friends in the affected area that they've not been able to reach.

Claudio Cifoni has a cousin whose director of the School of Medicine in L'Aquila.

Milena Trosini finally was able to reach her cousins in L'Aquila and got good news and bad news.

"They were ok, they were able to get out of the house, but the house was gone."

For Italian-Americans across the region with relatives in the Abruzzo region of Italy where the earthquake struck, it has been a difficult it not horrible day not knowing the fate of relatives.

"You don't know if they are out of the house, or are they under the rubble of a house. I mean, it's really very upsetting."

By chance, Anna Mattei's daughter had left the affected area of Pesacara a day earlier and had spent the night in Rome for a flight that arrived in Philadelphia on Monday. They now worry about the others.

"We are praying and we are constantly trying to network to see who has heard and who has not heard and share information."

Meanwhile there is grave concern for those who survived but lost their homes.

"Life is at a standstill for an undermined amount of time until they can see what they can do, so we're just trying to see what we can do ourselves, what we can do to help," said Milena.

The group expects to mobilize an effort aimed at offering financial assistance as well as anything else that may be needed.

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