The Council of Ministers of Italy today approved decreeing a state of emergency for one year in the municipalities of Sicily (south) hit by the recent earthquakes following the eruption of Etna, as well as earmarking 10 million euros to face the first emergencies.
The government said in a statement that this decision affects municipalities such as Aci Bonaccorsi, Aci Catena, Aci Sant'Antonio, Acireale, Milo or Santa Venerina, which on 26 December suffered damages as a result of an earthquake following the eruption of the Etna
In addition, the Council of Ministers has decided to mobilize a fund of 10 million euros to launch the first actions of assistance to the affected populations.
For his part, the head of the Department of Civil Protection, Angelo Borrelli, signed the order that governs the first urgent interventions after the earthquake, which affected areas near the volcano, the agency said in a statement.
The Executive Director of the Department of Civil Protection of the Region of Sicily, Calogero Foti, has been appointed, responsible for the preparation of an action plan to organize initiatives to help cope with the emergency and to serve the more than 400 evicted.
With the decision of the Government, people who have been totally or partially damaged their main home may request the suspension of the terms of the mortgage, according to the statement.
An earthquake of magnitude 4.8 on the open Richter scale shook at 03.18 Italian time (02.18 GMT) on Wednesday northeast of the island of Sicily and caused the collapse of several buildings and ten minor injuries.
The seismic activity, which has continued in the last hours, albeit slightly, is linked to the eruption of Etna that began on December 24 and continues, but with less intensity.