My phone has been ringing off the hook and my mail box full of messages from worried family and friends from all over the world wondering if I am ok.  Well, yes I'm fine---but I thought I would include a few facts about this mornings earthquake to put things in perspective for those that are not familiar with Italy---I am grateful for all of those who checked on me---please do it more often! 

1. The earthquake happened in the Lazio region this morning at around 3:30am.  Rome is located in the Lazio region, along with Viterbo, Ostia, and Civitavecchia.  It is about 3 times the size of Delaware. However Rome is closer to the coast and the earthquake took place in the mountains on the eastern side of the region---the epicentre being in Amatrice. Amatrice is located in the province of Rieti. The epicentre was not far from the 2008 earthquake in Aquila.  

Provinces in Lazio

Provinces in Lazio

Only 50.9 kilometres from Aquila!!!

Only 50.9 kilometres from Aquila!!!

2. The earthquake was felt in the regions of  Umbria, Marche and Abruzzo as well.

2. The town of Amatrice is thought to be lost---with the entire downtown area reduced to rubble. 38 people are confirmed dead as of 1:00 pm with 10 still missing.  Many are still buried in the rubble.  

3. The earthquake was 6.2 in magnitude.

4. Amatrice is famous for creating Spaghetti Amatriciana!! A delicious pasta dish with tomato sauce and bacon.

5. The word for earthquake in Italian is terremoto

6. What can you do to help?  If you feel like donating money make sure you donate to a valid charity---unfortunately many fraudulent ones pop up during times of disaster!  Here are some reliable ones.

a. The Italian Red Cross- . 

b. Donate blood with AVIS---if you are in Italy stop by your closest AVIS center and donate blood.  Just to make sure you don't show up at a rental car agency, here is their site:

c. Donate to a local Catholic diocese--make sure they have contact with Italy.

d. Donate directly to us---if you contact us at 100% of your donation will go to the victims of the earthquake.