Prime Minister António Costa has said Portugal is available to help Italy in the wake of a devastating 6.2 magnitude earthquake that struck a central area of the country early on Wednesday (August 24), killing at least 247 people and leaving behind a huge trail of destruction.
“Due to this catastrophe, I am sending out a message of encouragement and solidarity to the Italian people, who can count on Portugal’s support,” the PM wrote on his official Twitter page.
Internal Administration Minister Constança Urbano de Sousa also reinforced Portugal’s willingness to help.
“At this moment, Italy has not yet requested any help. Naturally, as soon as it does Portugal will respond,” she said as she visited the fire-ravaged district of Santarém yesterday.
The situation in central Italy remains very serious.
According to The Telegraph, survivors of the quake were on edge today after being woke up in the early hours of the morning with a 4.5 magnitude aftershock.
So far, 247 people have been killed and hundreds of others injured, while many are still believed to be buried under rubble.
The towns of Amatrice and Accumoli are identified as being among “the worst affected areas”.
Italian authorities expect the death toll to rise further.