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Fashion Industry Helps Italy’s Quake Victims

In Italy, where the death toll has mounted to more than 200 after the Abruzzo earthquake, fashion firms like Gucci and Anna Molinari donate funds.

Amid a mounting death toll and aftershocks in Italy’s earthquake-ravaged Abruzzo region on Tuesday, the fashion industry began pitching in for the relief effort.

Gucci said it was among the companies donating funds, along with designer Anna Molinari. Versace said it is preparing a strategy to assist the victims in an “organic way,” and Brioni also pledged to help.

Valentino and Giancarlo Giammetti said they were in “terrible anguish.”

Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who toured Abruzzo on Tuesday, said the government had allocated an initial 30 million euros, or $40 million, to assist victims of the 6.3 magnitude temblor that struck the mountainous area about 60 miles northeast of Rome on Monday.

Rescuers struggled to find survivors in the rubble and the number of dead increased to more than 200. An estimated 1,500 people were injured. Officials said about 17,000 people were left homeless.

Aftershocks, some reaching 4.2 magnitude, spread anxiety and were felt as far away as Rome.

Luxury label Brioni, located 62 miles from the earthquake’s epicenter in L’Aquila, was rattled by the tremors.

“There were no damages but following instructions by local authorities all the Brioni buildings were tested [Monday] morning,” said Andrea Perrone, Brioni’s co-chief executive officer. “Unfortunately the entire area is still experiencing… shocks.”

Perrone said the company was “deeply” linked to the region, the local institutions and the people.

“We will provide extra support following this tragedy, which has affected so many people in the region,” he said. “We are part of the Abruzzo [region] and are directly involved and shocked in what has happened, it will take time to reestablish ordinary life.”

The earthquake on Monday was the most severe in Italy since a 6.9-magnitude quake hit Eboli, south of Naples, in 1980. More than 2,700 people were killed.