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Powerful Quake Strikes Italy Towns, Villages
Powerful Quake Strikes Italy Towns, Villages

Powerful Quake Strikes Italy Towns, Villages

Powerful Quake Strikes Italy Towns, Villages

At least 38 people died in a powerful earthquake that hit central Italy early on Wednesday, a spokeswoman for the civil protection department said.
The quake struck towns and villages in the mountainous heart of the country, which was making the rescue operation more difficult, said spokeswoman Immacolata Postiglione.
Speaking to journalists, Postiglione said 27 people had died between the towns of Accumoli and Amatrice, and a further 10 had died in the nearby Arquata area. Later in her press conference, she upped the death toll to 38, without giving further details, Reuters reported.
“Now that daylight has come, we see that the situation is even more dreadful than we feared with buildings collapsed, people trapped under the rubble and no sound of life,” said Accumoli Mayor Stefano Petrucci.
Earlier, Petrucci told RAI state broadcaster that a family of four had been buried when their house collapsed, adding that there was no indication they had survived.
“Three quarters of the town is not there anymore,” Amatrice Mayor Sergio Pirozzi told RAI. “The aim now is to save as many lives as possible. There are voices under the rubble; we have to save the people there.”
A Reuters reporter said the town’s hospital had been badly damaged by the quake, with patients moved into the streets.
The earthquake caused damage to towns in three regions: Umbria, Lazio and Marche. The US Geological Survey, which measured the quake at 6.2 magnitude, said it struck near the Umbrian city of Norcia, which has a picturesque historic center and is a major tourist site.
Mayor Nicola Alemanno said no deaths had been reported in Norcia.
“The anti-seismic structures of the town have held. There is damage to the historic heritage and buildings, but we do not have any serious injuries,” he told RAI.
Residents of Rome, some 170 km from the epicenter, were woken by the quake, which rattled furniture and swayed lights in most of central Italy.
The Italian earthquake institute reported 60 aftershocks in the four hours following the initial quake, the strongest measuring 5.5. It measured the original quake at 6.0.
Italy sits on two fault lines, making it one of the most seismically active countries in Europe. The last major earthquake to hit the country struck the central city of L’Aquila in 2009, killing more than 300 people.
The most deadly since the start of the 20th century came in 1908, when an earthquake followed by a tsunami killed an estimated 80,000 people in the southern regions of Reggio Calabria and Sicily.

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