A Hamilton kindergarten teacher has rushed home to Italy after Wednesday's 6.2 magnitude earthquake claimed the life of her mother and brother.
Veronica Grondona, a teacher at Kindy Totz in Queenwood, flew out last night after receiving the devastating news following the earthquake which struck towns near Amatrice in central Italy about 3.30am local time.
Colleague Emma Shaw set up a Givealittle page yesterday to support Grondona and this morning it was already at more than $4200.
Shaw updated the page this morning saying Grondona's mother's body had now been found.
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A heartfelt tribute from her colleagues was posted on the kindergarten's Facebook page.
"Our thoughts are with our Kindy Totz teacher Veronica who has suffered the terrible loss of her close family in the earthquake in central Italy.
"This tragic but distant disaster has suddenly become very real, close and personal to us here at kindy."
The post asked parents and well-wishers to donate if they could.
At least 250 people have been killed in the earthquake as hundreds of aftershocks continue to rock the region.
The powerful earthquake downed buildings, apartments and houses and made one city "disappear".