Fears Number of Casualties Can Rise After Deadly Earthquake in Italy

Time: 1:00 p.m. CEST

Strong vibrations, including one with a magnitude of 6.2, killed at least 38 people and 150 are missing in central Italy. Rescue teams are searching the rubbles for possible survivors. BBC News reports that many of those who died in the earthquake are in the village of Pescara del Tronto, which was destroyed. Fears are growing the number of fatalities could rise. Italian Prime minister Mateo Renzi headed to the devastated areas saying that aside the grieving; this is the time for action.

The quake happened at 3:36 a.m. (1:36 GMT), 100km (65 miles) north east of Rome. The quake stroke at a depth of 10 km, and its intensity was compared with the Aquila earthquake in April 2009, when about 309 people died, BBC News says. The epicenter of the tremors was near Accumoli, where several people died and a family of four was feared dead. As BBC News reports, seismologist Andrea Tertulliani said there were sure to be further, numerous shocks that would probably diminish in intensity. “But it can’t be ruled out that there could be another shock on the same scale as the main one,” he said.

Half of the town of Amatrice was reduced to rubbles, where worst of the damages happened. “The roads in and out of town are cut off. Half the town is gone. There are people under the rubble. There’s been a landslide and a bridge might collapse,” said mayor Sergio Pirozzi, BBC News reports.

“There are tens of victims, so many under the rubble. We’re preparing a place for the bodies,” he said. In Accumoli, a short distance to the north of Amatrice, six people were feared dead. “There is a family of four under a collapsed house and sadly there are two small children among them,” said Mayor Stefano Petrucci. A local photographer spoke of 15 rescuers digging with their bare hands trying reach the family.

“They can hear the screams of the mum and one of the children,” he said.

Rescuers were also trying to dig out a 58-year-old man who was trapped in his home and several more were missing. The town is popular tourist place and most of the displaced people are visitors.


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