Red Cross Asks Italians in Quake Zone to Disable Wi-Fi Passwords
After a severe 6.2-magnitude earthquake struck a mountainous region in central Italy early on Wednesday, the Italian Red Cross requested that citizens in the affected areas de-activate their Wi-Fi passwords to ease communications for rescue and recovery workers who are working to find people trapped in the rubble.
The initial quake hit at 3:36 a.m. local time in the Umbria region and was followed by a reported 200 aftershocks in the next few hours, including one 5.5-magnitude tremor about an hour after the first event, according to The New York Times.
The villages of Amatrice and Accumoli were reportedly hit hard, and the current death count stood at 73 at press time.
The Croce Rossa (the Italian Red Cross) took to its Twitter (TWTR) account to make this unusual request at a time when rescue workers were still struggling to reach remote towns and villages.
Facebook (FB) had already activated its “Safety Check” feature so that people in the stricken area can alert family and friends of their status—provided they have Internet or phone access.
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Italy is no stranger to epic earthquakes. Three other major events have struck in various regions since 2002, according to this New York Times compilation.