In central Italy, in the early morning of Wednesday 24 August 2016, at least 240 people were killed when a 6.2 earthquake hit the region around Accumoli, including the town of Amatrice and the village of Pescara del Tronto. At the time of writing rescue workers are still searching for survivors amidst the ruins of the houses.
Obviously current efforts are aimed at saving as many people as possible, but in the next few days the Italian government will announce the official mourning period for the many who have lost their lives. When this information becomes available we will publish it here.
In the UK you are free to fly the national flag at half-mast whenever you feel it is appropriate. You can also fly the Italian national flag at half-mast, but if you do so next to a UK national flag, then that flag must also be at half-mast, or be removed. Any other national flags should be removed, and all other flags in the same set must be at half-mast. If it is not physically possible to fly the flag at half-mast, for example it is on an angled pole projecting from the building, then you can add a black cravat or ribbon to the top of the flag, nearest the flag pole.
Full guidance on flying flags at half-mast can be found in our booklet “Flying Flags in the United Kingdom”, which can be downloaded free-of-charge from this website.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Italy and the families and friends of those killed and injured in this disaster.