Amatrice is a quaint town in central Italy, once filled with culture and gothic architecture dating back to the 13th century. It stood tall in the time of the Western Roman Empire and the time of the Aztecs. But in a single morning, the city was reduced to rubble. On Aug. 24, tragedy struck Italy’s mountain regions in the form of a 6.2 magnitude earthquake. At least 247 people lost their lives,and the entire population of Amatrice, about 2,727 people, was forced to live in makeshift camps on the outskirts of town.
“It was one of the most beautiful towns in Italy, and now there’s nothing left. I don’t know what to do,” said a local resident according to Sky News, a news station based in the UK.
More than 6,000 rescue workers joined the scene immediately after the quake and used everything from bulldozers to their bare hands to search through rubble for survivors. Though the Italian government has done everything it can to save as many people as possible, time is against them. With each minute, the chances of finding survivors diminish.
A 16-year emergency response volunteer, Arturo Filippi, told CNN reporters, “This city will become a museum city, for people to see that an earthquake happened here.” Though the mayor, Sergio Pirozzi, has vowed to rebuild the town, some long-time residents of Amatrice have little hope. “The future is finished,” said a local school teacher, according to CNN.
However, there is something you personally can do to help the victims of the earthquake. You can click right here to donate money to the Italian Red Cross. In addition, the National Italian American Foundation is an organization with the goal of strengthening the relationship between Italy and the U.S. along with providing resources for the Italian-American community. They’ve created a fundraiser called Italian American Relief to support Italy after the earthquake. Click here to donate.