Italy: Earthquake Toll Rises To 250, Rescue Operations On Rapid Wind.
The death toll rose to 250 on Thursday as the Earthquake in Central Italy devastated the mountain towns till about 225 kms from the epicenter. The rescue teams have been trying hard to find survivors under the rubble. The earthquake with a reported magnitude of 6.2 struck Italy’s mountain communities about 140 kms east of Rome, destroying several hundred homes on Wednesday at a time when people were sleeping.
The shocks of the main earthquake were felt in Bologna to the North and to the South till Naples, which is about 220 kms from the epicenter.
There have been hundreds of aftershocks since the main earthquake. People have been sleeping in tents, cars or open ground since the destruction of homes and the looming fear of the aftershocks, three of which have been registered as strong as 5.1, 5.4 and 4.3.
The worst hit towns are Amatrice, Accumoli, Arquata del Tronto and Pescara del Tronto. Since the population was increased around tenfold owing to summer holidays, many victims were tourists.
The town Amatrice had been declared as one of the Italy’s most beautiful towns last year. The earthquake has reportedly flattened the town completely where floodlights have been put up to continue the rescue operations all through the night. The mayor of the town has said that every one in ten people in the town are dead. Christian Bianchetti, a volunteer said, "Unfortunately, 90 percent we pull out are dead, but some make it, that's why we are here."
An estimate of around 270 people who have been injured are hospitalized and around 5000 people have been involved in rescuing operations. These people include army troops, firefighters, police and several volunteers. A ten year old girl was saved alive from under the rubble where she lay for 17 hours in the town of Pescara del Tronto.
“I haven’t slept much because I was really afraid,” said a 70-year-old Arturo Onesi, survivor from the town of Arquata del Tronto, who spent the night in a tent camp amongst the rescue workers.
Premier Matteo Renzi who visited the earthquake hit zone on Wednesday addressed the rescue teams and survivors pledging that "No family, no city, no hamlet will be left behind."