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MOSCOW, August 24. /TASS/. The Russian Emergencies Ministry is ready to provide assistance to Italy in coping with the aftermath of a strong earthquake. The ministry’s press service told TASS on Wednesday that Emergencies Minister Vladimir Puchkov sent a telegram to Head of the Italian National Civil Protection Department Fabrizio Curcio with an offer of assistance.
"I would like to offer practical assistance of the Russian Emergencies Ministry in the emergency response operations," the minister’s telegram says. The ministry press service added that rescuers that have extensive experience of work in the zones of strong earthquakes with modern equipment for debris clearing and rescue of people are ready to fly to Italy.
Italy was hit by a 6.3 magnitude earthquake at 3:36 am, local time, Wednesday followed by a second one with the magnitude of 5.4 points. The earthquake was felt in many cities, including Perugia, Rieti and Norcia. There were also reports that buildings, roads and bridges have been damaged.
According to latest reports, at least 14 people have been killed in the earthquake as buildings collapsed. The rescue operation is complicated by the remoteness of many areas hit by the quake.