City Councilmen Tony Avella (D−Bayside) and Vincent Gentile (D−Brooklyn) have appealed to New Yorkers to help survivors of an earthquake that has left hundreds dead and thousands homeless in Italy’s Abruzzo region.
“I would like to express my deepest sympathy to the countless victims of this unfortunate natural disaster,” Avella said at a news conference outside City Hall on April 8.
“We have learned that the people of L’Aquila, the worst−damaged town in the Abruzzo [region], responded to the 9⁄11 attack on the World Trade Center in 2001 by raising $5,000, which they sent to New York City,” Avella said.
“It is time for us to respond in kind to the compassion of these people,” Avella said.
“This is an opportunity for every resident in New York City to stand alongside the survivors of this earthquake and make every conceivable effort to ease their suffering,” Gentile said.
Avella and Gentile were joined by the Sons of Italy in America, the Howard Beach Columbus Day Foundation and other Italian American organizations, as well as the Italian Consul General in New York City, Francesco Maria Talo.
The earthquake struck on April 6 in the Abruzzo region of Central Italy, with a death toll that has reached nearly 300. Nearly 40,000 people were reported homeless.
Priests held Mass in many refugee camps on Easter Sunday and provided Easter eggs for the children of the homeless.
Avella’s office can be reached at 212−788−7250.
Reach contributing writer Philip Newman by e−mail at news@times
©2009 Community News Group
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