48513
Italy Quake Death Toll Hits 281, State Funeral Planned
International

Italy Quake Death Toll Hits 281, State Funeral Planned

Hopes of finding more survivors from Italy’s powerful earthquake faded on Friday, with the death toll rising to 281 and the rescue operation in some of the stricken areas called off.
Three days after the quake struck the mountainous heart of the country, sniffer dogs and emergency crews continued to scour the town of Amatrice that was leveled in the disaster, but there was no sign of life beneath the debris, Reuters reported.
“Only a miracle can bring our friends back alive from the rubble, but we are still digging because many are missing,” town mayor Sergio Pirozzi told reporters.
In nearby villages, such as Pescara del Tronto, rescuers pulled out after all the inhabitants had been accounted for.
Italy plans to hold a state funeral for around 40 of the victims on Saturday, which will be held in the nearby city of Ascoli Piceno. A day of national mourning was announced, with flags due to fly at half mast around the country for the dead, who include a number of foreigners.
The Civil Protection Department in Rome said 388 people were being treated for injuries in hospitals and 40 of them were in critical condition. An estimated 2,500 people were left homeless by the most deadly quake in Italy since 2009.
Survivors with nowhere else to go are sleeping in neat rows of blue tents set up close to their flattened communities. The government has promised to rebuild the region, but some local people feared that would never happen.
“I’m afraid our village and others like it will just die. Most people don’t live here year round anyway. In the winter time, the towns are virtually empty,” said Salvatore Petrucci, 77, who came from the nearby hamlet of Trisunga.
“We may be the last ones to have lived in Trisunga.”
More than 1,050 aftershocks have hit the area since the 6.2 magnitude quake early on Wednesday, bringing fresh damage to structures still standing. These included a bridge leading to Amatrice, which had to be closed on Friday, further complicating the rescue operation.
The original quake was so strong that the town nearest the epicenter, Accumoli, sank by 20 cm (7.87 inches), according to Italy’s geological institute.
The foreigners who died in the disaster included six Romanians, a Spanish woman, a Canadian and an Albanian. Three British holidaymakers, including a 14-year-old boy, also died.
The area is popular with vacationers and local authorities were struggling to pin down how many visitors were present when the quake hit.
The Romanian Foreign Ministry said 17 Romanians were still missing. Italy has a large Romanian community, and some of the victims were residents in the country.

Short URL : http://goo.gl/3IPfQN
  1. http://goo.gl/df2JSI
  • http://goo.gl/ZRm5Sy
  • http://goo.gl/GyZ4fW
  • http://goo.gl/VMEsng
  • http://goo.gl/xnemNR

You can also read ...

Human Rights in Tight Corner
The world is sliding back on human rights and its principles...
Macron Rail Reform Meets Repudiation
Workers at France’s state-owned SNCF rail company on Wednesday...
Search for Flight MH370 May Be Scrapped
The hunt for missing flight MH370 is being reviewed and may be...
Venezuela Expels US Diplomats, Rejects Sanctions
Venezuela ordered the expulsion of the top two US diplomats in...
US President Donald Trump (R) and South Korean President Moon Jae-in in the Oval Office, Washington on May 22
The historic diplomatic encounter planned for three weeks from...
Berri Reelected as Lebanese Speaker
Veteran politician Nabih Berri, a close ally of Hezbollah...

Trending

Googleplus