Mark Rutte (Photo: Nick van Ormondt/Wikimedia Commons) - Credit: Mark Rutte (Photo: Nick van Ormondt/Wikimedia Commons)
Wednesday, 24 August 2016 - 11:32
Netherlands offers sympathy, support to Italy after eathquake
Both Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Minister of Foreign Affairs Bert Koenders expressed their condolences to Italy following a 6.2 magnitude earthquake that left several towns in ruin. "The Netherlands stands ready to help where asked", Rutte said on Facebook. The earthquake struck around 3:45 a.m. in Norcia, a famous tourist attraction in Umbria. The earthquake's toll is still mounting, but so far around 20 are dead and more than a hundred people are missing. So far there were no reports of any Dutch victims. "This morning I was confronted with the heavy news of the terrible earthquake in Italy", Rutte said in a statement on Facebook. "At the moment much is still uncertain, but it is clear that many communities are affected by this natural disaster. I expressed my condolences with the victims and survivors to Italian Prime Minister Renzi. My thoughts go out to them." Koenders called the earthquake "terrible news" on Twitter. "Conveyed condolences to colleagues (Italian Foreign Minister, ed) Paolo Gentiloni and Sandro Gozi."