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6.2 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Central Italy; Italian Prime Minister: We Are In Shock; Survivor Recalls Moment Earthquake Hit; Aftershocks Follow 6.2 Magnitude Quake In Italy; Biden In Turkey Amid Tense Relations With U.S.; U.S.-Turkey Relations Strained After Coup Attempt; Biden Meeting With President Erdogan And P.M. Yildirim; Report: Turkey Crosses Into Syria, Hits ISIS-Held Town; Iraqi Forces Retake Qayyara Government Complex; Tension Rising Between Ukraine And Russia; Ukrainian Soldiers And Pro- Russian Fighters Trade Fire; Ukraine Marks 25 Years Of Independence From Soviet Union; Manitoba Introduces Anti-Sex Trafficking Curriculum; Trafficking Victim Finds Solace At Safe Lodge. Aired 10-11a ET
Aired August 24, 2016 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[10:00:00] ROBYN CURNOW, CNN ANCHOR: Hello and welcome, I'm Robyn Curnow at the CNN center. And we begin with breaking news.
There is though still hope that there are survivors trapped in the rubble after that massive earthquake in Italy. Rescue operations are underway
right now. This is -- the death toll has jumped to at least 63 people according to Italian media. Many on the ground say that number is expected
to rise after the 6.2 magnitude quake.
Now, rescue crews, volunteers, you can see them here, are trying to use all they can to try and pull people from flattened buildings. Prime Minister
Matteo Renzi says he'll visit the hardest-hit areas in the coming hours.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MATTEO RENZI, ITALY PRIME MINISTER, (through translation): It is a time where we are in shock. That is a moments for action. And with my heart,
in my hands, I'd like to say to Italy during difficult moments, Italy knows how to react and what to do. During the times when things are not working
out, Italy is together and showing its beautiful side.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CURNOW: Well, CNN contributor Barbie Naseau joins us now from Saletta, a small town also devastated by this quake. Hi there Barbie. Describe the
scene for us.
BARBIE NADEAU, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, Robyn, we're about one mile from the epicenter of this devastating earthquake. We've been here for several
hours now, this earthquake now 12 -- happened 12 hours ago.
Behind me, you can see what used to be multi-story, multi family places. You can see people still walking around in their pajamas really in a daze,
trying to figure out what they should do next, where they're going to sleep tonight, what is going to happen? You know, we've seen over and over again
many of these rescue attempts like in the rubble behind me, we had for hours and hours this morning, people, neighbors, citizens using their hands
and garden tools and all sorts of things that they could find to try to move these heavy stones away and try to get to the people inside the
building, get stuff, everything, they'd yell the name of the person and then they'd start digging again.
We have the same scene up above me again right now where they think maybe as many as four people could still be alive 12 hours later trapped under
the rubble. We've seen activity there all day long and we've seen a number of dogs, search and rescue dogs, come in and out of the area.
But what really, you know, is just so profound here is just to see these people in this tiny little town, 20 people live here, you know, and it's an
enclave like so many others all around this area. This is not a unique disaster zone. This repeats itself over and over and over again, Robyn, in
the miles around this area.
This is a very populated area in the summer. It's where so many people who live in Rome, so many foreign tourists come to escape the heat of the city
to come to enjoy what people love most about Italy, you know, these old stone buildings, this beautiful picturesque countryside. But what we see
is that which draws people to Italy, that which brings people here, and a situation like this becomes just so very dangerous, Robyn.
CURNOW: And as you've been talking Barbie, sadly the death toll has been updated. I just want to bring this to our audience. The Civil Protection
Agency has said in a press conference that the death toll is now 73. 53 of those killed were in the town of Amatrice. Now, that is where the
And as you say, many of these hilltop towns, these villages, these hamlets are also pretty inaccessible. There's long winding roads to try and get up
to them. When is heavy equipments expected in or do you think after 12 hours most people are getting the equipment that they're needed in terms of
the rescue operations?
NADEAU: Well, we've been seeing much more heavy equipment in the last hour than we've seen all day long. And we saw just about an hour ago was a
helicopter that landed just right next to our position here. They came from the north of Italy so reinforcements are still coming.
You know, they're in need of medical help, of medical supplies, they got people to donate blood. You know, they need places for people to sleep.
Well, we haven't seen -- we're about a mile from the epicenter but what we haven't seen here is any sort of tents, community set up, you know, for the
people who live here.
One of the big things that they've been struggling with all day long though, is to try to understand how many people were in the area. Because
this is a place where people come for the weekends, come for their holidays. There's no general sense of information.
Facebook activated it's line, it's "I'm safe" feature this morning to try to get an understanding so people could start to make a list of missing
people. All of these things going on yet as they try with their hands in some cases is a struggle to move the rubbles, to try to find life.
[10:05:13] You know, we've seen fire trucks go by, we've seen ambulances with their lights on. We've seen also ambulances that are moving very
slowly, you know. It's just a mixed bag right now. And, but like I said, what we're seeing right here repeats itself over and over again in these
little remote villages all around this area, Robyn.
CURNOW: As you we were talking, we were showing there images of Amatrice which is the village that has been hardest hit. Now, let's not forget,
this took place just after 3:30 a.m. in the morning, people were shaken out of their beds. Many of those survivors are still wearing their pajamas.
Tell us what people are saying to you? Are they walking around dazed or is there a sense that they really need to help their neighbors?
NADEAU: Well, you know what, there is such a strong sense of community at a time like this, especially. And what we saw this morning were people
from the neighborhood who were describing to the rescue workers where the bedroom in the house was where they were trying to search for survivors,
what color the floor was, what corner of the house it was in. People know that in a community like this.
This is when Italy, you know, really as is at its best, when you need that sense of community, those details. People know who was out of town.
People know who wasn't out of town. What they don't know though, are the people who aren't normally here, those tourists, those people who live in
Rome that have their weekend houses here.
You know, a lot of people send their kids to their grandparents to live up in these ancestral villages here in the mountains of Italy. It's far
cooler up here than it is in the heat of the cities, you know. It's a very populated area. And this still is the height of the summer season in Rome.
School doesn't start here for another three or four weeks in Italy. So, this is still, you know, very, very busy place.
We're seeing lots of helicopters. I can count three right now going overhead. You know, those are reinforcements coming in. There's some
heavy equipments just right behind me. This is the kind of heavy equipment we actually haven't been seeing all day long. This is one of the -- this
is the first truck at this time we're seeing and this is an earthquake that's gone on for the last 12 hours.
In terms of the rescue, we got a long line of vehicles. When we were driving up here several hours ago, there were cracks in the main highway,
obviously not that safe for these heavy, heavy vehicles to come through. But what we're seeing now is really, you know, a line right now of
reinforcements, you know.
But, Robyn, it's 12 hours after that earthquake took place. It's really difficult to understand what they're going to find under the rubble at this
CURNOW: That is great news. It is so important to see that, those heavy vehicles coming in. There is still an urgency but also, still a window to
try and save those, particularly if they're caught in an air pocket. So there is an opportunity for them to save some lives.
Barbie Nadeau, I'm going to leave you, we'll come back and check on you in the coming hours. Thanks so much.
Now, we're also hearing from some survivors describing those terrifying moments when the earthquake hit. As it hit, many of them woke up in the
early hours to their bed shaking and people screaming. Erin McLaughlin has more.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Buried beneath the rubble, a sign of life. "Are you able to breathe?" a rescue worker asks. "Only a bit," the
response. "A bit? OK. The important thing is to stay calm. Police officers are now on their way."
These are the lucky ones, young and old, the survivors of Wednesday's deadly earthquake. As they make their way to safety the look of shock is
all too apparent. The quake struck this holiday region in the dead of night, many are sound asleep in their beds. Gian Carlo (ph) says his house
in the town of Amatrice collapsed.
GIAN CARLO (ph), EARTHQUAKE SURVIVOR, (through translation): I have never experienced anything like this. Small tremors, yes, but nothing this big.
This is a catastrophe.
MCLAUGHLIN: In the immediate hours after the quake, an Italian journalist was among the first to arrive and found a local priest desperate for help.
"I don't see the rescue operation taking place," he says. "We need more people to help. We need everything to deal with this emergency. As you
can see, there is not much happening here."
The topography of the region compounds the rescue efforts. Remote villages damp the mountainous landscape. They're difficult to access in the best of
conditions. This is where Italians and tourists go to escape the summer heat. Emma Tucker was one of them.
EMMA TUCKER, EARTHQUAKE SURVIVOR: The house was trembling, shaking. It got more and more intense. It's actually appalling noising, clinking,
thundering, sort of rumble. It felt like somebody put a bulldozer on the house to try to knock it down.
MCLAUGHLIN: In Amatrice, more help arrives, the wounded carried away on stretchers. Gold foil is held up in respect for the dead. The villagers'
13th century clock tower is one of the few structures still standing, hands frozen in time, 3:36 a.m, the exact moment when the first quake struck, the
exact moment so many lives would never be the same.
Erin McLaughlin, CNN.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[10:10:00] CURNOW: Thanks to Erin for that. Well let's go to Chad Myers.
Hi there, Chad. The Italians say you heard Erin reporting, calling this a catastrophe.
CHAD MYERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes.
CURNOW: But the aftershocks are just as devastating.
MYERS: Sure, we already had a 5.5, which is an earthquake on its own, but it shook in the same plane, it shook in the same place, that's why it's
called an aftershock and not a foreshock or not an earthquake itself because we already had a 6.2 at that point about 30 minutes after that.
Actually, let me show you right here. This is what the seismogram looks like. And I know you've heard seismograph before but that's on paper and
this is on a computer.
Here is where it started to shake, right here at the 36 minutes after the hour. And it shook for many minutes after that violently, and then started
to calm down. So here's this calming down, the earth is still shaking a little bit. But then the second aftershock, right through there, that's
where another 4.2 after this 5.5. It's hard to determine where one aftershock starts and one where earthquake ends, but it was a very violent
night for the people there.
Robyn, here's something else that concerns me more than anything else. It concerns me that this was such a shallow earthquake. In fact, the European
agency saying only four kilometers under the ground, which means it had no time to slow down or to attenuate. That says a 200 kilometer deep.
Well that's already 200 kilometers away from the closest place, that's good, because it starts to get smaller and smaller and smaller, and the
shaking at the surface is not as bad because it's so far away from where the earth ruptured. This was a very close to the surface quake and that is
going to create and will create still, more aftershocks in that sharp range. It's like a lightning bolt that hits one block away and goes bang
or a lightning bolt that hits maybe 10 kilometers away and it goes rumble, rumble, rumble, rumble, rumble. That's the attenuation of the sounds and
the attenuation of the seismic waves just because that is a little bit farther away.
This is close for them, 40 kilometers of where the 2009 earthquake killed 295 people. Something else this earthquake did, it happened in the middle
of the night. You see the buildings that are flattened, you see the people that are probably inside because they were sleeping. If this was 3:00 in
the afternoon, we'd be talking about a different story. The buildings would have still fallen, the same, but the people may have been out in the
streets or away from the buildings. There are so many people trapped in those buildings because of the time of the quake. And this is going to be
a long, long clean-up, Robyn.
CURNOW: OK. And in terms of rescue operations, because let's try and focus on hope right now. If there were the pockets, if there are air
pockets, what's the weather like? You know, how -- what are the circumstances for these rescue operations?
MYERS: We are at about 1,000 meters, so 3,000 feet high so it's cooler at night, less humid and our temperatures in the afternoon are in the middle
20's, almost perfect, 27 degrees, t-shirts, very nice. But in the nighttime hours, it's going to get down into the lower and middle teens.
Now I know that doesn't seem cold if you put a jacket on but if you were only in bed with your, you know, whatever on, then all of a sudden you
don't have a jacket to put on, you're trapped in a building with no windows and the doors are broken and all of a sudden your temperatures there in the
building will be in the teens. That will be cold nights for people that are still trapped.
CURNOW: OK, Chad Myers, thank you so much for that update.
You're watching CNN. As Turkey ramps up its war on ISIS, the U.S. Vice President is in Ankara. We'll tell you what Joe Biden has to say about the
recent coup attempt. Plus, Ukraine declared its independent from Russia a century ago but 25 years later there is fighting in the east. We take you
to the middle of the battle.
[10:16:19] CURNOW: I want to bring you an update on the breaking news out of Italy where a 6.2 magnitude earthquake struck overnight. We have new
drone footage for you showing you some of the damage from the air. This was tweeted by the Italian Fire Department. Italy's protection -- Civil
Protection Agency reports the death toll in all affected areas has jumped to 73 people. Rescue workers flocking to villages in central Italy's
mountainous area, which were the hardest hit.
Of course we'll continue to keep an eye on the earthquake and what is happening there in terms of rescue operations. There's also much to tell
you about what else is going on around the rest of the world, including U.S. Vice President Joe Biden's visit to Turkey.
Now, he is there to meet with Turkish leaders at a time when relations between the two countries have become tenser than usual, especially since
last month's failed coup attempt in Turkey. Speaking at a joint news conference with the Turkish Prime Minister, Biden denied any U.S.
involvement in the attempt at overthrow.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, U.S. VICE PRESIDENT: The United States of America did not, did not, have any foreknowledge of what befell you on the 15th. The United
States of America, the people of the United States of America abhor what happened and under no circumstances would support anything remotely
approaching the cowardly act of the treasonous members of your military who engaged in this behavior.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CURNOW: Of Vice President Biden's visit comes at the same time Turkey crosses its border with Syria and launches a stepped up military assault on
ISIS. Well CNN Senior International Correspondent Ben Wedeman joins me now form Ankara with all of these.
Hi there, Ben. It's not often that you see an American Vice President denying that U.S. had any involvement or knowledge of an attempted coup in
a NATO country.
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it's unusual, but in this case it was something that simply had to be done. Because
almost from the moment the coup began on the 15th of July there were rumors, there were conspiracies, there were statements, even by government
officials suggesting that the United States either had foreknowledge or a role in the coup. So certainly, Vice President Biden struck the right cord
in very clearly denying that the U.S. had any foreknowledge. And he really stressed time and time again the close relations between Turkey and the
United States, saying that Turkey has no greater friend than the United States. In fact, repeating it twice.
But, he's walking on sensitive ground. He was talking about the current operation began by Turkey in Northern Syria, sending in tanks in support of
fighters of the Free Syrian Army. And he was condemning the recent terrorist attacks by ISIL and was also condemning attacks by the PKK, the
Kurdish workers' party, that's been fighting a separatist war against the Turkish state since 1984. Where is the problem?
In Syria, the United States is arming and backing and logistically supporting the YPG, which is essentially the Syrian branch of the PKK. So,
there are certain complications here that Joe Biden's skill, his spookiness is not going to be able to pay for over. But, all things considered, he
certainly struck the right cord by and large. Robyn.
[10:20:15] CURNOW: He did, indeed, what appear to. It'll be interesting to see how his comments go down in Turkey after the message is digested.
Also, though, tell us about this operation, how the Turks have escalated their response to ISIS?
WEDEMAN: Well, the operation began at 5:00 a.m. this morning, Robyn, and Turkish officials saying that this offensive involving Turkish tanks,
artillery, F-16s and several hundred fighters with the Free Syrian Army was launched because, or rather, in retaliation to the suicide bombing believed
to be by ISIS on Gaziantep for over the weekend that left more than 50 people dead and cross border mortar and rocket fire from Syria into Turkey
yesterday and the day before. But this operation, we've known about it for, well, over a week. So, it's something that's been in the planning for
quite some time.
Now, it's not clear what the scope of this operation is going to be. The official news agency here is reporting that Free Syrian Army fighters are
on the edge of Jarablus. It is the target of this operation. It's been under ISIS occupation for the last 2.5 years. The question is, is this
just the beginning of the Turkish operation to set up some sort of buffer zone along the border, something that the Turks have been talking about for
Officials have been saying that what this operation is aiming at is to stop the flow of refugees from Syria into Turkey to crush ISIS and to provide
humanitarian support to the Syrian population on the other side of the border. Robyn.
CURNOW: In Ankara, Ben Wedeman, thanks so much.
Well, Iraqi troops have hit a milestone in their quest to retake the city of Mosul from ISIS. Troops have captured the government complex in a
nearby city of Qayyara. Anti-ISIS forces are expected to use the tunnels as launching point for attacks against militants in Mosul. ISIS has had
Mosul under its control for the last two years. Troops expect to have Mosul liberated by the end of the year.
And Ukraine is marking a significant milestone, 25 years of independence from the Soviet Union. But the celebration is under the shadow of growing
tensions with Russia and battles that technically aren't supposed to be happening.
Well CNN's Phil Black got a close up look at the tense situation along Ukraine's eastern border. He joins us now from Kharkiv, Ukraine.
Hi there, Phil. Describe for us what you saw, what you experienced.
PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT. Robyn, we know that 18-month-old ceasefire has never really been respected. It is widely considered to be a failure.
But there's no doubt, the fighting on the ground is intensifying further. That means Ukrainian soldiers or Russian fighters, and civilians, more of
them are being harmed and killed in the fighting.
What you hear from international observers, what they count and what they describe as ceasefire but -- things that violate the ceasefires, but what
that really doesn't do is justice to what is taking place on the ground there. What you see there is open warfare.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BLACK: Through this gate is one frontline of a war still ravaging a country and destroying lives, a year and a half after all sides promised to
ceasefire. We're with Ukrainian soldiers near Avdiivka, in the country's east, as they try to hold a position against pro-Russian forces.
That's been coming fast landing into the walls of this shed. The people here say that this is what it's like every single day. They're not just
lobbing stuff at each other, they're trying to move forward and take each other's territory.
Captain Andrich Goruthzki (ph) tells us we must now run.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Quickly, quickly, quickly.
BLACK: This short dash for cover draws fire. We shelter in the remains of another devastated building. The source of the incoming fire is very
The enemy is out that way.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, it's that way. It's that way, 100 meters.
BLACK: 100 meters away.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, yes.
BLACK: The pause in the shooting allows us to move forward. We cross more open ground between old buildings. This industrial site is a fiercely
contested prize. The Ukrainian forces say they've lost 10 men here in the last month and there are casualties every day.
[10:20:11] Captain Goruthzki wants to show us one of the positions they're being attacked from.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, the building in there.
BLACK: Just there?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah.
BLACK: A tall, tower-like building so close we could stroll there in less than a minute.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Go, go.
BLACK: We're being pulled out.
At that moment, the fighting picks up. There's incoming fire from several directions.
There is now fighting during the day every day, so does it say. But more than that, it's in the evening, 4:00, like clockwork this begins, and it
really kicks off. Let's get back.
Why is this position, this territory so important?
He says the enemy has already moved beyond the line of control set in the peace deal known as the Minsk agreement. He says that if the pro-Russian
forces move forward from here, they could keep going and take any city in Ukraine.
From relative safety, we listened to the noise of war. Until it gets too close. Mortars land just outside. They punched through this building
It was good enough? OK, ready? You're good?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm preparing to jump, all right.
BLACK: Chris (ph), you're good?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah. Let's go, let's go, let's go.
BLACK: Bullets whistle around our team during the final run to safety. This is what a ceasefire looks like in eastern Ukraine.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACK: Robyn, in recent years, Independence Day has become less of a celebration more of a symbol and highly symbolic event. It is certainly
symbolic and important to soldiers who've been spending time with -- on the frontlines because they say, that is what they believe they are now
fighting for, Ukraine's genuine independence, its freedom from Moscow's orbit, even now, 25 years after it left the Soviet Union.
Those soldiers say they are pragmatic in their view. They don't believe that they alone can settle this but they hope that their efforts to hold
that the line and contained those pro-Russian fighters combined with diplomacy, politics, international pressure, that all of that together will
somehow find a resolution, return peace to Ukraine and keep this country whole. But of course, we know this war is more than two years old now and
it hasn't worked so far. Robyn.
CURNOW: No. Thanks so much. Phil Black there in Ukraine, great reporting there, appreciate it.
Well Christiane Amanpour sat down exclusively with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. You'll be watching that interview later on "Amanpour" at
7:00 p.m. in London.
And still ahead, a frozen clock time marks the minute a powerful quake struck central Italy overnight. We'll check back with rescue efforts.
[10:30:57] CURNOW: To our breaking news now, a powerful earthquake has struck central Italy killing at least 73 people. The quake reduced
people's home to rubble and froze a clock tower at the hour of 3:36 a.m. That's the early morning hour when the quake struck as many people were
still in their beds asleep.
Now, workers are clawing through the rubble, pulling out victims. Officials say the death toll is likely to rise.
The epicenter is a remote mountain area peppered with towns and villages and hamlets. And workers are having a hard time bringing in equipment and
reaching more victims.
Well our Fred Pleitgen joins us now from the town of Accumoli. And Fred, before we get to you, we've just had an update from the epicenter, the town
of Amatrice, and we understand that authorities there are saying people will not sleep in their houses tonight, it's too dangerous, and that local
authorities are saying that more than a thousand people have been displaced because of that quake where you are. Explain to us what you're seeing,
what the situation is there.
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, everybody is outside here as well in this town, Robyn. People are quite frankly
afraid to go into their houses. We've spoken to some folks around here who have brought some blankets out and who have brought some food out that they
still have. But they don't want to stay in their houses longer than necessary and many of them also believe they are going to spend the night
I'm going to show you exactly the reason for that. It is of course because people are afraid of aftershocks and afraid of what happened here last
night. You see back there, over there, that debris, that's one of the houses here in Accumoli that collapsed. And it more than collapsed, it
basically just turned to rubble in an instance when this earthquake hit.
It's one of the things about this village and many of these villages around here that you very rightly pointed out. A lot of them have very ancient,
very old buildings and those old buildings, of course, are made of old bricks, old stones and mud and when this earthquake hit, a lot of those
buildings simply fell apart.
Now, on the one that you just saw behind me, there were two people who were actually trapped underneath the rubble of that building and the folks here
said for the first three hours, maybe even longer, after the earthquake hit, they were the ones who were doing all the digging. There were no
authorities here. None of the police or emergency services were able to get here. They were going through there stone by stone, trying to break up
some of the stones with pick axes and eventually nice to get one of the people out, a second person was literally just rescued from the rubble
there about an hour ago when the fire department finally showed up.
And I wanted to lute to the other thing that you were saying, what the authorities are saying is a very, very big problem here, this very
mountainous areas where the roads are very narrow, and that is getting heavy equipment into some of this small villages.
What we've seen is one of the main access roads. It's packed with emergency vehicles, with bulldozers, with medical facilities, emergency
mobile medical facilities, ambulances. A lot of them are not able to get into these very small areas because still a lot of the roads are blocked,
some of them also too dangerous to pass at this point in time. So, a very difficult operation for the authorities here. They certainly seem to have
enough assets in the area. Very difficult to get them into these remote places, though, Robyn.
CURNOW: Yeah. And it's almost exactly 13 hours ago that this quake hit, shaking people in their beds. And one of the problems we understand
authorities are struggling with is just trying to ascertain how many people are, you know, have been hit by this because it's very -- it's the height
of tourist season.
And I understand in one report is that some rescuers were calling residents' cell phones in an effort to try and locate those people. If
they didn't answer, they moved on from their house. Just give us some sense of how people are trying to target and find their neighbors.
PLEITGEN: You're right. You're absolutely right. I mean, it is something that is very difficult, especially in light of the fact that it is the
height of tourism season and a lot of people from places like Rome, but also other big Italian cities, they come to this region because it's
actually a little bit cooler than in places like Rome to spend the summer months simply because the heat isn't that oppressive.
[10:35:01] What we're seeing, a lot of the emergency services do is going from house to house, in many cases, yelling, seeing in they get some sort
of response. And we've also heard that apparently they're trying to call people as well. The other main thing that they're also doing is they're
also employing a lot of air assets as well.
It's interesting to see, from our vantage point, we've seen seven or eight helicopters in the air. Of course, on the one hand, those are also used to
ferry people who are injured away from this area, some who needs specialized treatment that are being brought away. But of course, they're
also surveying the damage as well. They're trying to see from above whether or not they might be able to spot people.
The other thing that they also have is they have very specialized units as well. That there are units with K9s, with dogs, that are trying to sniff
out if people are alive.
We can't see if that Italian authorities know exactly, and of course we do as well from covering events like this that it is the first 72 hours after
an event like this hits that are absolutely crucial. That's about the amount of time that rescuers believe that people who might be trapped in
some sort of gaps, who might have had a house collapse on them, or might have had some sort of pocket are able to survive without food and water,
but are able to survive after a quake like this hits.
And so certainly, it is a race against the clock. At this point in time, we see the authorities trying to bring heavy equipment in. But right now,
into the small places, it really is still trickling. They really are very much still at the beginning of this search and rescue operation.
CURNOW: Fred Pleitgen, great speaking to you. Thanks for giving us your perspective there. I understand you're about 10 to 15 kilometers away from
the epicenter. And as you rightly say, there is a sense of urgency because there is still time to save people's lives. Thanks so much Fred Pleitgen
Well, our website has put together some powerful photos of this earthquake in Italy. You can see them. Plus get the latest on the rescue efforts on
cnn.com. We'll be right back after the break.
CURNOW: Well all this week, the CNN Freedom Project is looking into the problem of sex trafficking in Canada's indigenous communities. Now, one of
those communities is confronting the issue of child exploitation by educating its kids. Paula Newton has the story.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAULA NEWTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The journey alone transports the mind. A prop plane traveling to northern Manitoba takes us
into the spiritual heartland of most indigenous communities here. But the beauty belies the saga of isolation, poverty and discrimination.
[10:40:12] We land in Norway House Cree Nation as many indigenous communities fiercely proud of its cultural inheritance but undeniably
scarred by decades of vulnerability and abuse. We witness the first year, an indigenous community that says it is confronting the issue of child
exploitation after decades of denial by bringing an anti-trafficking education program right into its schools.
SAMANTHA FOLSTER, NORWAY HOUSE CREE NATION COUNCILLOR: We're here to do a presentation with you today on sexual exploitation. Councilor
NEWTON: Samantha Folster and Gilbert Fredette are a determined team.
FOLSTER: The first step in rebuilding our community is to say enough is enough.
NEWTON: Both community leaders trained by the Manitoba government to create a curriculum-based program where kids hear how and why child sexual
exploitation has traumatized their community.
FOLSTER: I don't think it's ever been talked about that way. It's more like let's not talk about it. Let's just leave it. Let's leave it under
the rug and let it stay there. And it's the fear of speaking about it and the shame that comes with it and the guilt of feeling that maybe this was
GILBERT FREDETTE, NORWAY HOUSE CREE NATION DEPUTY CHIEF: It's the right time now to open the doors and get those skeletons out of the closet and
start talking about these issues within our own community. Because if we don't do that, then we're not going to be part of the solution, we're going
to continue to be part of the problem.
NEWTON: The solution, they say, must be begin in the classroom as a first step towards prevention. Kids get a detailed account of how they might be
lured and candid reasons for why they may be vulnerable as indigenous youth.
School counselor Gem York says the frankness of the discussions is what makes it meaningful and effective.
GEM YORK, SCHOOL COUNSELOR: I think putting the words to it and naming it and saying this is what this is called, this is sexual exploitation, this
is human trafficking and this is what happens. And I think the kids are like, oh OK, that's OK, that's what that is, you know.
RON EVANS, NORWAY HOUSE CREE NATION CHIEF: The difference now is we're talking about. I mean, you know, we have plans in place in the community
which we never had before.
NEWTON: Ron Evans is the chief here at Norway house. He says a legacy of addiction, violence and abuse means many people are not living with their
families but are instead in government care.
So, how does it compromise communities like this one?
EVANS: Well, we have an issue with our children. We have a high number of children in care. It makes our communities very vulnerable that way for
predators to take advantage of our children.
NEWTON: Changing that will take years of community involvement.
At a local fish fry, families get together, share a laugh and a song, all of it helps with instilling optimism here, a belief that things can and
will change for the children of Norway house.
FOLSTER: We need to let them know that it's wrong, let them know that it's not their fault and not to feel shame because it's not their fault. You
know, how is it that we can heal as a community.
NEWTON: There is tentative optimism here now that was slow but steady education and awareness, places like Norway house will be a strong refuge
for indigenous youth, restoring it as the heartland it once was for its elders.
Paula Newton, CNN, Norway House Cree Nation, Manitoba.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CURNOW: Thanks to Paula for that report. And tomorrow she introduces you to Lauren and the safe house, the safe lodge that saved her life.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NEWTON: For months this healing lodge had sheltered cradled Lauren Chopek in cradled her with the love and protection she so needed.
LAUREN CHOPEK, SEX TRAFFICKING VICTIM: Before I moved here, I used to blame myself and even during the time I was living here, I used to blame
myself for everything. I would say I let them do that to me, I'm dirty, it's my fault.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CURNOW: Well, more on her courageous story of survival Thursday on our Freedom Project series "Canada's Stolen Daughters" only on CNN.
Well, thanks for watching. That does it for us here at the "International Desk". I'm Robyn Curnow. Don't go anywhere. World Sport is up next.