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US, EU offer Italy aid for earthquake

24 agosto 2016 | 19.01
LETTURA: 2 minuti

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The United States and the European Union said they were ready to help Italy after a magnitude 6.0 earthquake on Wednesday devastated towns in several of its central regions, killing at least 73 people, injuring scores and leaving thousands homeless.

US foreign secretary John Kerry gave his Italian counterpart Paolo Gentiloni condolences in a phone-call telling Gentiloni he was "deeply affected by the casualties", the foreign ministry said.

During the call, Kerry confirmed "the US government's willingness to respond to any requests for help from Italy in the coming days and weeks, the foreign ministry added.

Earlier, European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker said he was "deeply saddened" at news of the deadly quake and said the EU stood by Italy in its time of need.

"As always we extend our solidarity to the Italian nation and are ready to provide assistance in any way we can," he wrote in a letter to premier Matteo Renzi.

The EU's humanitarian aid and crisis management commissioner Christos Stylianides also said the bloc was ready to aid Italy.

"Closely monitoring aftermath of #Italy earthquake. My condolences and sympathy to victims' families. EU stands ready to help," Stylianides tweeted.

The quake epicentre was in the province of Rieti near the village of Accumoli in the seismic central Appenines and was felt as far away as Florence and Naples.

The temblor severely damaged towns in the Lazio, Umbria and Marche regions.

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