ShelterBox tents were erected in the village of Assergi earlier this month, 20kms from the town of L’Aquila, Italy where an earthquake displaced many.
“The old part of the village was badly damaged and last night 200 people had to sleep out in the open,” said ShelterBox Response Team member John Diksa (France) the day ShelterBox erected the first tent. ShelterBox began working in Italy with local Rotarians and the Civil Protection Agency.
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ShelterBox Response Team volunteers completed the distribution of 120 tents and 500 blankets that arrived in the disaster area on April 13, 2009. The tents were driven to Italy from the UK non-stop by SRT members Graham Higginson (UK) and Tim Evans (UK). The tents and blankets were distributed in Paganica, 5kms east of L’Aquila, and San Nicola nel commune di Tornimparte, 15kms south of L’Aquila.
In total, ShelterBox has distributed 365 boxes and 500 blankets to those affected by the 6 April earthquake. “We estimate that 2,000 people are currently sleeping in our tents,” says team leader John Diksa. ShelterBox has been working in the country with local disaster relief agencies and Rotarians. Nearly 300 people lost their lives in the earthquake and about 40,000 people were left homeless.
ShelterBox’s work in Italy was covered by a number of major news networks. Click here to see SRT volunteer Andrew Biss’s interview with BBC News.