- A 6.2 magnitude earthquake destroyed the town of Amatrice, as well as others, at 3:36 this morning.
- So far the death toll is 38 people but rescuers are still digging through the rubble.
- Hundreds of people were injured and thousands were left in need of temporary housing after the entire town was leveled.
- The 39 aftershocks, some reaching a magnitude of 5.1, continued to cause damage to surrounding cities.
At the moment, 38 people are reported dead after a devastating earthquake leveled a cluster of small mountain villages in Italy. The death toll is expected to continue to rise as rescuers frantically search through the rubble for survivors.
The 6.2 magnitude quake hit the town of Amatrice, population 2,700, in the province of Rieti. The earthquake began at 3:36 a.m. and was so powerful that it was felt as far away as Rome. The mayor of Amatrice, Sergio Pirozzi, said, “The town isn’t here anymore.”
Unfortunately, for Italy, the earthquake ripped through a central part of the country. It shook its way through Lazio region and Umbria and Le Marche on the Adriatic Coast, reverberating its way up and down the foundation of Italy.
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Amatrice itself was broken in the quake. Entire buildings were destroyed. The air is now thick with dust from the leveled structures. Even after the quake was over rocks and metal still continued to fall into the streets as the 39 aftershocks, some as strong as 5.1 magnitudes, continued into the early morning hours.
Maria Gianni, a resident, said, “The whole ceiling fell, but did not hit me. I just managed to put a pillow on my head and I wasn’t hit, luckily, just slightly injured my leg.”
One woman sat outside her destroyed home, only a blanket left that she held around her shoulders said she didn’t know what happened to her family. She said, “It was one of the most beautiful towns of Italy and now there’s nothing left. I don’t know what we’ll do.”
Other cities also saw destruction come there way due to the earthquake. The town of Accumoli, near Rieti and 80 miles northeast of Rome, as well as the town of Pescara del Tronto which is further east.
One family of four, which included two boys ages 8 months and 9 years-old, was completely buried under their home in Accumoli. Rescuers could do little to help but dig out the bodies to give the family proper burials.
Back in 2009, an earthquake killed more than 300 people in and around L’Aquila, which is located a mere 55 miles south of the quake that happened this morning.
Rev. Savino D’Amelio, a parish priest from Amatrice, said, “I don’t know what to say. We are living this immense tragedy. We are only hoping there will be the least number of victims possible and that we all have the courage to move on.”
The full extent of the damage is still unclear. Yet, rescuers continue to dig away debris to try and find any survivors in the rubble. It’s going to be a hard future for Italy as it begins to piece back together the towns that it lost.
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