At least 250 have been killed and another 360 have been injured in the earthquake that flattened the Italian town of Amatrice. The M6.2 earthquake struck 100 km north-east of Rome in the Reiti region at a shallow depth of 10km. The main shock has been followed by dozens of aftershocks as large as 5.5 in magnitude.
Italy has declared an state of emergency for all the regions severely affected by the earthquake which includes towns like Amatrice, Arquata, Accumoli and Pescara del Tronto. An 8-year old girl who was trapped in the rubble for almost 17 hours was rescued yesterday. ANSA reported that the body of her sister was lying next to her but could not be saved.
Aftershocks hamper rescue efforts
Aftershocks as large as M5.5 have had a severe impact on rescue efforts. Footages show aid workers and people run in panic as aftershocks rattle the debris and partially collapsed buildings around them. Rescuers are seen desperately trying to find survivors in the rubble, and are hopeful to find more survivors. In Amatrice, rescue and aid workers have advised journalists to leave as ‘the town is crumbling’.
According to the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre, more than 200 aftershocks were recorded in the first 24 hours with two above M5.0. The aftershocks are centered between the epicenters of previous earthquakes in 2009 that struck l’Aquila to the north-west and in 1997 that struck Marche to the south-east of 2016 earthquake.
Video: Bystanders and rescue workers run away from buildings during aftershocks