NEW YORK, 25th August, 2016 (WAM) — In the wake of powerful earthquakes yesterday in Italy and Myanmar, the United Nations relief wing is monitoring the situations, and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s spokesperson said the UN and its partners stand ready to support both countries and local actors should any humanitarian support be needed.

“The Secretary-General is saddened by the reports of lives lost and damage caused by earthquakes today in Italy and Myanmar,” spokesperson Stephane Dujarric told the regular daily briefing at UN Headquarters, adding that Mr. Ban expressed his condolences to the peoples and governments of both countries.

According to news reports, a magnitude-6.2 earthquake and a series of aftershocks struck Umbria, Lazio and Le Marche, three regions some 80 to 100 miles north-east of Rome. At least 160 people are now feared dead and dozens more could be missing.

As for Myanmar, reports suggest that a 6.8 magnitude quake there left at least three people dead and damaged ancient temples and cultural sites in the centre of the country.

Mr. Dujarric said the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, OCHA, is in contact with the national authorities and continues to closely monitor both situations.

“Along with our partners, we stand ready to support the national authorities and local organisations should any humanitarian support be needed,” he said.