In the early hours of this morning central Italy was tragically struck by an earthquake, with initial reports of several casualties and damage to infrastructure.
We express our heartfelt condolences and sympathy to the families and friends of those who have lost loved ones.
Our thoughts are also with the first responders and all those involved in the rescue operations.
Italy is part of our European family and as the European Union we stand in full solidarity with the Italian people and the national authorities at this time.
The EU is ready to help.
At the moment, the Commission's Emergency Response Coordination Centre is closely monitoring the situation and has already been in contact with the Italian civil protection authorities during the night regarding any help which could be requested.
So far, the Italian authorities have requested that the Copernicus Emergency Management Services provide damage assessment satellite maps for the affected area. This will of course be done.