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Luca's Boutique, Boutique, Sioux Falls, SD
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Local Business Owner From Italy Talks About Earthquake Leland Steva reports:


Sioux Falls, SD

The death toll now stands at 250 in a part of Italy hit by an earthquake this week.
Italy's premier authorized millions of dollars in emergency funding and ordered the cancellation of taxes for people in the towns hit hardest by the quake. 

As the country tries to pick up the pieces, thousands of miles away here in Sioux Falls a local business is feeling the tragedy. 

Luca Papini owns Luca's Boutique located in the 8th and Railroad shopping center. While he works in his store, his mind and heart is back in his home country of Italy, where towns he's visited have been reduced to piles of rubble. 

You look around Luca's Boutique and you can see how important Italy is to the local business owner. Luca Papini was born in Southern Tuscany, and went to college in Perugia. When he saw the damage on television of this week's earthquake, he quickly contacted loved ones back home.  

"That morning I call my parents and I call my uncle and my grandmother in Italy just to make sure because Perugia is close so you never know," Luca Papini said. 

Luckily for him, his family was not affected by the earthquake. Facebook let him know a lot of friends back home are safe as well. But others aren't as fortunate as the death toll climbs. 

Papini says Italy is no stranger to quakes. He mentions seeing damage after an Earthquake in 1997 which claimed the lives of 11 people. 

"It's one of those things that we need to deal with but you never get used to it," Papini said. 

Wednesday's quake measured at a 6.2-magnitude.  Significant aftershock Thursday is making rescue efforts difficult. But that's not stopping workers from continuing to fight to get to those buried underneath the rubble. Others in the community are helping where they can.

"It's always heartbreaking to see something like that but in Italy there's this incredible solidarity," Papini said. 

A man living here in KELOLAND, but his heart is with those living thousands of miles away. 

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