Italy struck by deadly earthquake

Italy, Eurasia Region

NASA photo

A 6.2-magnitude earthquake leveled the town of Accumoli in central Italy and destroyed about three-quarters of the homes in nearby Amatrice Wednesday morning, according to BBC News. CNN reported Friday that the death toll hit 250.

The Church of the Nazarene's Italy District is currently holding its family camp in Assisi.

"Our district family camp started on Tuesday the 23rd just 100 kilometers from the epicenter of the quake," said Daniel Fink, Italy district superintendent. "The building where the camp is taking place started to shake at 3:36 a.m. From that time on, nobody went back to sleep."

Despite the sleepless night, no one was injured.

"We found out from TV and news about the extent of the damages caused by the quake," Fink said. "We are so sorry and express solidarity, participating in the pain of those families of the victims of this natural disaster that happened in our nation. We pray for those injured and for those that have lost their homes. We pray for those that are working and are trying to save lives from under the rubble. We hope that the number of victims won’t grow."

Rescue workers continue to conduct relief efforts.

"The Army and the Civil Protection have said that nobody should go near the cities that are victims of the quakes," Fink said. "Roads must be kept free so that rescue teams can do their jobs. At the moment they have asked people to donate blood of all types. The authorities and official associations have not yet communicated what type of help we can give."

Prayer is requested for those who have lost loved ones, as well as local residents and rescue workers as they search for and rescue survivors and treat the wounded.  

The Church of the Nazarene officially entered Italy in 1948. There are at least seven organized Nazarene churches in the country. The closest church is located in Rome, approximately 140 kilometers from the earthquake.

--Church of the Nazarene Eurasia Region

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