“The images of the destruction caused by the earthquake in Italy are heartbreaking. My deepest condolences to the victims’ families.” These are words pronounced by the President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz, who expressed strong sympathy for the pain Italy is experiencing at present. Italy received numerous messages of condolence from around the world. Many volunteers left to provide practical support to the people battered by this drama. Those who stayed at home are engaging through social networks to offer support, raise money, gather necessities or simply express their solidarity. On Twitter, the hashtags #PrayForItaly and #terremoto are leading the trends. Among the messages, there are also those from associations, institutions, municipalities and governors of the different regions, ready to offer their expertise, equipment and personnel for the relief operations. At San Camillo de Lellis hospital in Rieti, there has been a long queue since this morning to donate blood. Clinics in other cities, such as Rome, Foggia, San Benedetto del Tronto, are embracing too those who want to contribute this way to assist earthquake victims.
“It is a moment of grief and of an appeal to shared responsibility. The whole country should rally around solidarity with the affected populations,” said President of the Italian Republic Sergio Mattarella. “In the immediate future – he added – we must commit all forces to save lives, treat the injured and ensure the best conditions for the displaced persons. You will soon need a quick concerted effort to ensure the reconstruction of destroyed towns, the resumption of production activities and restoration of normal life.” Renzi, promising not to leave “anyone alone, no family, no municipality,” has thanked those who “from 3.37 a.m. mobilized volunteers, civil protection, the machine of solidarity” and “those who have spoken and dug with their bare hands. ” Meanwhile, the President of the Chamber, Laura Boldrini, visited Arquata del Tronto “to bring the solidarity of the House to the people” struck by the earthquake and her own “closeness, as someone who was born in the Marche region, to the citizens of this region”.
Pope Francis, out of respect for the dead and the injured, suspended the customary Wednesday catechesis and prayed the rosary with the pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square. “Listening to the Amatrice mayor saying: ‘The town is not there anymore’ and knowing that there are children among the dead, I was really moved,” he said. From the meeting of Communion and Liberation, the archbishop of Bologna Matteo Maria Zuppi explained that “it is time for the Church to show its solidarity with the earthquake victims… The Caritas and parishes have been already mobilizing. In the next hours aid will be increased our aid to those affected by this tragedy.” Numerous messages from received from abroad. Words of closeness and support came from Chancellor Angela Merkel and from European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.
Vladimir Putin sent a telegram with his condolences to Renzi: “I share the pain of the Italian friendly people. The loss of life following the devastating earthquake in Italy’s central regions”. He also assured his “willingness to provide the necessary assistance after the disaster”. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has offered support to the Prime Minister of Italy to contribute to the “search and rescue” of the injured. Similar letters have been sent by other rulers, such as French President Francois Hollande, who expressed his affection to Italy. A flood of tweets were posted by sports clubs and sportsmen, first and foremost, football players.
Max Biaggi, Federica Pellegrini, and Flavia Pennetta have reported pain and participation after the earthquake. Outside the country, Granada and Schalke 04 have done the same, publishing an Italian flag with the caption: “We are saddened by what happened in #Italy and our thoughts are with the families of the victims: #PrayForItaly”. Serie A has expressed deep sympathy for the population hit by the earthquake in central Italy. “We are very sorry for what happened – said the president, Maurizio Beretta -. It is a tragedy that hurts the entire country. The world of football will know, as always, to contribute and support, now we must only hope that the number of victims does not rise any further and leave the rescue teams work. Our heartfelt thanks for what they are doing.”
The FIGC president Carlo Tavecchio, in agreement with the CONI President Giovanni Malago, ordered one minute of silence to be observed at all the races the next day of the football leagues. The national teams that take the field today and in the coming days will wear black armbands as a sign of common participation in a time of such great pain for the whole country. The singer and rapper J-Ax wrote “My thoughts are with the people hit by this tragedy. We help all the rescuers busy at this time.” “Italy – tweeted Laura Pausini – my land… I wish I was there … And I am with all my heart and my prayers … I’m far away only physically… My prayers are for my Italy, if you can, help those who need blood right now.” The list of posts on social networks continues with Jovanotti, Gigi D’Alessio, Nek, Emis Killa, but also Simona Ventura, Antonella Clerici, Salvo Sottile and many others.