24 August 2017

THE Salvation Army on the Italian island of Ischia is providing shelter and support to a number of people who were forced from their homes by an earthquake. Two people were killed and more than 50 injured when a 4.0-magnitude quake shook the island on Monday evening.

The Army has worked on Ischia since the 1930s. Since the 1960s it has run a guesthouse and camp centre. Everyone at the guesthouse – which appears to have avoided structural damage – is safe, though the residents spent the night sleeping outdoors in the courtyard.

Once the building was deemed sound, The Salvation Army contacted the local authorities and offered to provide shelter to people who could not return to their homes. Eighteen people (10 women and 8 men) are now occupying two large dormitories. The newcomers were given a welcome meal and a fresh, clean bed. The situation will be monitored to see if any other help needs to be offered.

Envoy Ilaria Castaldo reports that the centre is also supporting ten residents of an elderly care home who have additional needs: 'It's a good opportunity to show them the love of God,' she says. Meanwhile, firefighters and engineers are still working to check the structural integrity of buildings on the island.

A Bible camp planned for September will still go ahead as scheduled, though it is expected that some people will pull out because of safety concerns.

    •    Donations to the response can be made securely online at https://secure20.salvationarmy.org/donation.jsp?projectId=IHQ-Europe_Fund

From a report by Colonel Massimo Tursi

Tags: Europe, Emergencies