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Carnage as quake hits Italy; 120 dead

Carnage as quake hits Italy; 120 dead

ACCUMOLI (Italy): A powerful earthquake rocked a remote area of central Italy on Wednesday, leaving at least 120 people dead.

With dozens injured and an unknown number of people trapped under rubble, rescue workers expected the death toll to mount further.

Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said in the evening that the death toll had risen to 120. He spoke in the provincial capital of Rieti after visiting rescue crews and survivors in the hard-hit town of Amatrice and flying over other demolished towns in the nearby Le Marche region.

Hundreds of people were facing a chilly night in hastily assembled tents as the risk of aftershocks made it too risky for them to return to their homes.

Scores of buildings were reduced to dusty piles of masonry in communities close to the epicentre of the pre-dawn quake, which had a magnitude of between 6.0 and 6.2.

Guido Bordo, 69, lost his sister and her husband after they were trapped inside their holiday house in the hamlet of Illica, near Accumoli. “There’s no sound from them, we only heard their cats,” he said before the deaths were confirmed.

The victims included a nine-month-old girl whose parents survived, an 18-month-old toddler and two other young children who died along with their parents in Accumoli. Two boys aged four and seven were saved by their quick-thinking grandmother, who ushered them under a bed as soon as the shaking began.

Published in Dawn, August 25th, 2016

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