Local Italians react to devastating quake

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)- Vinnie Guercio, owner of Guercio & Son’s Market, is a third generation Italian.

Tuesday night’s news of a 6.2 magnitude quake ripping through central Italy, was hard  for him to hear.

“We hope and pray for the country of Italy right now. And our thoughts and prayers are with them,” Guercio told News 4.

Guercio still has family and friends in Italy, although not close to where the quake it. Some of the store’s staff, are travelling in Italy.

“I have two out there right now, two employees. And they’re both safe.”

One of those employees, is Cynthia Passanisi’s husband; they both work at the market. She told News 4 she’s not too worried.

“I talked to him last night, he was fine,” Passanisi said.

But Brenda Alesii felt a different feeling when she woke up.

“I was really concerned about the safety of my relatives and my friends there.”

Alesii has a family home not far from Rome; she has fond memories of honeymooning there and visiting family.

For her, it was nightmare and a flashback to 2009, when her father’s home suffered serious damage when a 6.3 magnitude quake shook his town.

“To walk around that village that was so vibrant and filled with people of all ages and to see it empty, was just jarring.”

One of her close friends lives in the very next village to Amatrice, where the earthquake hit. Her first thought, was if they made it.

“They weren’t injured, nothing fell on them, but her two children went to the neighboring town and pulled people out from under the buildings.”

She spoke to her friend, who said it’s not something they’ll forget anytime soon.

And because their village is also in a small, mountainous area, some people there are concerned secondary tremors or another quake could occur, causing more devastation.

“To know that my relatives are going through this again, and that they might be affected by this, through no fault of their own, you know you just live in an area where you’re prone to having these devastating earthquakes, it really tears me up inside,” Alesii told News 4.

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