President Ilves sends condolences following earthquake in Italy
Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves and Minister of Foreign Affairs Marina Kaljurand offered their condolences to their Italian counterparts following a magnitude 6.2 earthquake in Central Italy that has taken at least 120 lives, with hundreds of people still missing as well.
President Ilves sent his condolences to the friends and family of the victims of the earthquake that struck central Italy during the very early morning hours of Wednesday, Aug. 24.
"Our thoughts are with the Italian people on this dark day," wrote the Estonian president.
He also asked that his words of support be extended to anyone who was injured in or lost their home to the earthquake as well.
Estonian Minister of Foreign Affairs Marina Kaljurand likewise offered condolences to her colleague in Italy, Minister of Foreign Affairs Paolo Gentiloni.
"I am so very sad about the earthquake that ravaged the central part of Italy last night," said Kaljurand. "I am offering my heartfelt condolences to those who have suffered as well as the family and friends of the victims."
9 Estonians registered in area all accounted for
The Estonian Ministry of Foregin Affairs told ERR's radio news that a total of nine Estonian citizens have registered themselves as living in Umbria County, the region affected by the quake, and according to the ministry, they have been able to succesfully contact all nine of them.
The foreign ministry urges any Estonians in the area who had not registered their presence there to contact their loved ones and let them know that they are safe. If anyone is unable to contact their loved ones in Estonia, the ministry has requested that they contact the ministry directly.
According to a number of major news sources, including BBC, CNN and Reuters, Rome and Central Italy were rocked by a magnitude 6.2 earthquake at 3:36 a.m. local time (4:36 a.m. Estonian time), whose epicenter was located ten kilometers below Norcia, which is located 170 kilometers northeast of Rome. One hour later, an aftershock registering at magnitude 5.4 occurred, after which dozens more aftershocks have followed.
According to current reports, the villages of Amatrice and Accumoli have suffered the worst damage as a result of the quake.