38 killed in Italy quake

The Myanmar Times - - World -

A POW­ER­FUL 6.2-mag­ni­tude earth­quake dev­as­tated moun­tain vil­lages in cen­tral Italy yes­ter­day, leav­ing at least 38 peo­ple dead and many more un­ac­counted for.

Dozens of build­ings col­lapsed in com­mu­ni­ties close to the epi­cen­tre of the quake in a re­mote area strad­dling the re­gions of Um­bria, Marche and Lazio.

Deaths were re­ported in the vil­lages of Ama­trice, Ac­cu­moli and Arquata del Tronto as res­i­dents and emer­gency ser­vices scram­bled fran­ti­cally to res­cue peo­ple trapped be­neath the ru­ins of houses re­duced to piles of ma­sonry.

At least 10 peo­ple died in Pescara, a ham­let that is part of the big­ger vil­lage of Arquata del Tronto, ac­cord­ing to civil pro­tec­tion of­fi­cer

It was Italy’s most pow­er­ful earth­quake since 2009, when more than 300 peo­ple died in and around the city of Aquila.

“The sit­u­a­tion is dra­matic – there are many dead. I can­not give a toll for now be­cause res­cue ef­forts are un­der way and it is very, very dif­fi­cult,” said Ama­trice Mayor Ser­gio Pirozzi. “Half the vil­lage has dis­ap­peared.”

Fabrizio Cur­cio, the head of Italy’s civil pro­tec­tion ser­vice, classed the quake as “se­vere”. The shocks were strong enough to wake res­i­dents of cen­tral Rome, some 150 kilo­me­tres away.

Six bod­ies were re­cov­ered in Ama­trice, ac­cord­ing to the pres­i­dent of the Lazio re­gion, and two at Ac­cu­moli, ac­cord­ing to the town’s mayor.

Ale­an­dro Petrucci, the mayor of Arquata, said Pescara was one of “two or three ham­lets that have just com­pletely dis­in­te­grated”.

An­other two peo­ple died and a fam­ily of four in­clud­ing two young chil­dren were trapped, feared dead, in their col­lapsed house in the vil­lage of Ac­cu­moli, ac­cord­ing to its mayor Ste­fano Petrucci.

“We have a tragedy here,” said Mr Petrucci. “There are peo­ple un­der the ru­ins, it is not a good sit­u­a­tion.”

A res­i­dent of the vil­lage told Rai tele­vi­sion that she had been wo­ken by the shak­ing in time to wit­ness the wall of her bed­room crack­ing open. She was able to es­cape into the street with her chil­dren.

Ama­trice, where the lo­cal author­i­ties con­firmed five deaths, was packed with vis­i­tors at the peak of the sum­mer sea­son when the quake struck, de­stroy­ing the hill­top vil­lage’s main street.

Mr Pirozzi said dif­fi­cult ac­cess to the vil­lage had pre­vented emer­gency ser­vices get­ting through.

“There is a land­slide on one road, a bridge is about to col­lapse on the other one,” he said. “We can hear voices un­der the rub­ble.”

Ama­trice is fa­mous in Italy as a beauty spot and is a pop­u­lar hol­i­day des­ti­na­tion for Ro­mans seek­ing cool moun­tain air at the height of the sum­mer.

The first quake struck shortly af­ter 3:30am, ac­cord­ing to the United States Ge­o­log­i­cal Sur­vey, and a 5.4-mag­ni­tude aftershock fol­lowed an hour later. –

A man car­ries a pram through the rub­ble

Photo: AFP

of build­ings dam­aged in the earth­quake which hit Ama­trice yes­ter­day.

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