Update 6: The number of the Romanians gone missing after the earthquake in Italy dropped from 14 to four on Sunday evening after authorities reported that 10 of them had been found alive. The death toll sticks to 11, there are six injured and four still missing.
Update 5: 11 Romanians were reported dead on Sunday, while another 14 are missing. According to the Foreign Ministry, seven of the dead conationals are to be repatriated on Monday, August 29.
The two funeral transports, whose expenses are fully covered by the Romanian Foreign Ministry from the special Emergency Fund, will leave to Romania, by road, on Monday.
The minister delegate for Diaspora, Maria Ligor, is also in Italy these days. She will attend a religious service held in the memory of the dead Romanians in Rieti on Sunday. Ligor will also visit the areas hit by the devastating earthquake, she will visit the injured Romanians in hospitals and will meet other Romanians living in the area.
Update 4: The death toll has reached 290, ten of the dead are Romanians, according to the Foreign Ministry.
“The Romanian Foreign Ministry announces with deep regrets that the death of another two Romanian citizens has been confirmed. Currently, the number of Romanian citizens confirmed as dead has reaches ten. There are 16 Romanians missing. The checks are conducted by mobile consular teams, on the basis of official information from Italian authorities and on the basis of information from the families of those missing. The consular teams of the Romanian Embassy in Rome and of the General Consulate in Bologna are on the site, acting coordinated and are conducting checks to confirm, on all available channels, the situation of missing Romanian citizens,” a release from the ministry informs.
According to the media, some 6,000 people are still working on the rubble to find survivors in the areas affected by the earthquake.
Update 3: The Romanian Foreign Affairs Ministry (MAE) confirms on Friday evening the death of yet another two Romanian nationals in the Italian earthquake, the death toll thus climbing to eight. Regarding the missing Romanian citizens, the number under the MAE attention reaches 19. The attempts to identifying them are under way.
Update 2: The Romanian Foreign Ministry informs that a sixth Romanian has been found dead following the quake in Italy and conveys condolences to the grieving families.
According to a MAE release on Friday morning, the 5 injured Romanian citizens are hospitalized, the physicians informing that they are in stable condition. On the other hand, “procedures are ongoing to identify the 17 missing Romanian citizens. The checks are made in coordination with the relevant Italian authorities,” the release reads.
Update: The Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed the death of another three Romanian citizens in the earthquake that stroke the central region of Italy on Wednesday morning, with the death toll among Romanians climbing to 5. The previous two victims had been confirmed earlier in the morning.
Four other Romanians identified among the injured in hospitals. Moreover, 18 Romanian citizens that reside in the area are reportedly gone missing.
At least 278 people died as 6.2 earthquake stroke central Italy on Wednesday around 3 a.m, the Italian civil protection department reported, as quoted by the Italian media.
The shallow quake, estimated to have struck after 3:30am at a depth of 6 miles, was felt across a broad section of central Italy, including the capital Rome where people in homes in the historic centre felt a long swaying followed by aftershocks.
There are around 400 injured and a lot of people reportedly gone missing. The dead persons were reported in Accumoli (Lazio region), Amatrice (Lazio) and Arquata del Tronto (Marche).
Local authorities reported that half of Amatrice locality is destroyed.
The mayor of Amatrice near Rieti, Sergio Perozzi, told state-run RAI Radio 1 that there were downed buildings in the town centre and that the lights had gone out. He said he was unable to get in touch with emergency responders or reach the hospital.
“What can I tell you? It’s a tragedy,” he said. “Half the town is gone. There are people under the rubble… There’s been a landslide and a bridge might collapse.”
A family of four were feared dead in the rubble of their house in the nearby town of Accumoli. The mayor said six people had died. “One person was pulled out of the rubble during the night,” said Stefano Petrucci.
“Then there is a family of four under a collapsed house and sadly there are two small children among them.”
The European Mediterranean Seismological Centre put the magnitude at 6.1. The US Geological Survey put the magnitude at 6.2, with the epicenter at Norcia, about 105 miles northwest of Rome.
Seismologist Andrea Tertulliani said there were sure to be further, numerous shocks that would probably diminish in intensity. “But it can’t be ruled out that there could be another shock on the same scale as the main one,” he said.
According to the head of the Civil Protection Department in Italy, Fabrizio Curcio, the quake is similar, as intensity, to the one in Aquila in 2009, which claimed more than 300 lives.
Italy is often shaken by earthquakes. Another quake hit the northern Emilia Romagna region in May 2012, when two violent shocks 10 days apart left 23 people dead and 14,000 others homeless.
Romanian victims confirmed
Until Friday evening, the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs had confirmed the death of eight Romanian citizens in the earthquake. Five other Romanians were identified among the injured in hospitals. Moreover, 19 Romanian citizens that live in the area hit by the disaster are reportedly gone missing. Their relatives reported their dissapearance.
Initially on Wednesday the morning right after the quake, the Foreign Ministry had no information about potential Romanians among the quake’s victims.
The Romanian diplomatic mission in Rome as well as the consulate in Bologna continue to offer assistance and protection for all Romanian citizens affected by the earthquake.
The Romanian mission is in constant contact with the competent Italian authorities and is taking all steps through all channels, including through the two mobile consular teams of the Romanian Embassy in Rome and the Romanian General Consulate in Bologna, which is at the scene and is cooperating with Italian authorities to get information regarding the existence of other Romanians affected by the quake.
The ministry reminds Romanian citizens that the following numbers are available to assist them: the Romanian Embassy in Italy — (0039) 06 835 233 58, (0039) 06 835 233 56, the Romanian General Consulate in Bologna (0039) 0515872120, (0039) 051 5872209.
PM Ciolos, President Iohannis extend condolences
President Klaus Iohannis extended condolences to the families of the Romanians who lost their lives in the earthquake, informing that he is permanently updated on the injured condition and on the search efforts of the missing ones.
PM Dacian Ciolos also extended condolences to the family of the Romanian confirmed dead in the earthquake, adding that he is in permanent contact with the Foreign Affairs Ministry and with the Romanian Embassy in Rome.
“Sadly we found out that a Romanian national lost his life and other fellow countrymen are injured or gone missing following the quake on Italy. We are standing by the hard tried family and by our countrymen in pain (…) Our thoughts are going to the affected people, Romanians and Italians alike (..),” PM Ciolos stated.
The head of the Executive also sent his message of solidarity to his Italian counterpart Matteo Renzi and offered him the Romanian authorities’ help.