Members of Vancouver’s Italian community have been hectically phoning family in Italy to ensure they weren’t caught in yesterday’s earthquake.

Lina Manetta said the relief was immense when her sister, who lives just 13 kilometres from where the earthquake hit, picked up the phone.

“She said she was in the house and was OK,” Manetta said. “My husband phoned another town and it was devastated.”

Manetta said that calls to other relatives in and around L’Aquila, the worst-hit town, were not picked up.

Ashley Komaryk-De Lucio, director of cultural programs at the Italian Community Centre, said 37 local organizations are meeting tomorrow night.

“It’s just a devastating tragedy,” Komaryk-De Lucio said. “We have veterans associations, cultural and folk groups and others sitting down to plan the fundraising.”

An account has been set up at VanCity to accept donations.

Latest From ...