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Ischia island earthquake: rescue of children and new-born baby

Category: International Firefighting Team of the Year

Fire department: Comando Provinciale vigili del Fuoco Napoli (Naples, Italy)

Operation: Earthquake

On 21st August at 20:57 the I.N.G.V. recorded a seismic shock of magnitude 3.6, at a depth of 10 km, subsequently recalculated to magnitude 4.0 and depth 5 km, with the epicentre lying between Ischia and the Flegrea coast. The municipalities closest to the epicentre were Forio, Serrara Fontana, Lacco Armeno, Barano d'Ischia and Casamicciola Terme. The earthquake was felt by the population and caused collapses and damage to buildings.

The Fire Brigade of Naples sent 2 fire engines, 3 logistic units with crane and special equipment for collapse risk. The earthquake units of the Operational Sections of the Lazio, Calabria, Puglia and USAR M Departments of Lazio and Tuscany have been deployed. Some collapses have been recorded on the island, in particular in Casamicciola, and in Lacco Ameno Rizzoli hospital was evacuated because of the presence of multiple cracks. A first aid area outside the hospital has been set up and is operational, pending static checks on the structures. At 23:00, the Operations Committee of the D.P.C. met under the President of the Council.

In the early hours of the morning of 22nd August a child was recovered from the rubble and digging continued to recover two more boys. The provisional estimation is two deceased persons, one of whom died in hospital, and some 25 injured.


Ischia Earthquake Emergency

Rescue operations continued tirelessly after the earthquake of  21st  August that struck the Flegrea coast and in particular the villages of Forio, Serrara Fontana, Lacco Ameno, Barano d'Ischia and Casamicciola on the island of Ischia. In these villages, collapses of buildings and damage to various structures and buildings have been registered.

The Fire Brigade has been deployed with a rescue force consisting of 200 units and 65 vehicles in addition to personnel from the Naples Brigade and all the Brigades of Campania and the Departments of Lazio, Calabria and Puglia as well as the USAR Team for Lazio and Tuscany. The USAR Team for Lazio flew to the accident zone in an Italian Air Force aircraft, which took off from Pratica di Mare Airport. 16 members of the USAR Team for Tuscany were transported to the intervention location in an "CH47" army aircraft, which took off from Grosseto Airport. The other 17 members of the same team were transported in the same way at 12:00.

A 7-month old child, who had been swept away by the debris of a collapsed house in the town of Casamicciola, was recovered and rescued in the early morning of August, 22. At about 10:40 a.m. and at about 1:10 p.m. of August,22 , the USAR specialists rescued two other children involved in the same collapse. At about 6:30 p.m. the body of the woman involved in the same collapse was recovered.

The total number of persons who lost their lives is two and 42 injured persons. The operations have been carried out in a context rendered particularly difficult and delicate by the critical situation and location. The Fire Brigades removed a large part of the rubble by hand, until they could open the doors through which it was possible to extract the children. In the meantime, Fire Brigade officers began checking damaged buildings with a team of specialist officers.

194 units and 92 firefighting vehicles were involved in the rescue activities. Since the beginning of the emergency, 2,666 operations have been carried out, including recovery of property and inspections.