AMATRICE, Italy — The search continued on Thursday for the dead and the missing after a devastating earthquake struck central Italy, deeply convulsing this close-knit country.
A significant aftershock was captured on video in Amatrice, Italy, where hundreds died after a 6.2-magnitude earthquake struck on Wednesday.
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS on Publish Date August 25, 2016. Photo by Ciro De Luca/Reuters. Watch in Times Video »
At last count, the death toll stood at 241: 184 in the town of Amatrice and 11 in Accumoli, both in the Lazio region, and 46 in the village of Arquata del Tronto, in the neighboring Marche region. In a rare bit of good news, the toll was revised downward, from an earlier tally of 247, but the figure could rise again given that some people remained unaccounted for.
At a news conference in Rome, Immacolata Postiglione, head of the emergency unit at Italy’s Civil Protection Agency, said that 215 people had been rescued from the wreckage generated by the quake and the violent aftershocks that followed it. At least 264 people had been hospitalized, and many children were among the scores injured, the Health Ministry said.
Officials in Romania confirmed that five of the country’s citizens had been killed in the quake, and that four were wounded, and 11 missing. Several thousand migrants from Romania are estimated to live in the area.
The earthquake, which had a preliminary magnitude of 6.2, struck at 3:36 a.m. Wednesday, all but flattening Amatrice, a quiet mountain town with medieval churches, destroying houses and burying people under the rubble. It also devastated Accumoli. The earthquake was so strong that it was felt in Rome, about 100 miles away.
A young girl was pulled out from under the rubble in Amatrice, Italy, by rescue workers after being trapped for 15 hours following the earthquake there on Wednesday.
By REUTERS on Publish Date August 25, 2016.
. Watch in Times Video »
Overnight, about 1,200 people slept in four makeshift camps in the area struck by the quake, as residents braved the 460 shocks and aftershocks that have been registered since Wednesday morning. Ms. Postiglione said that two of the shocks had magnitudes larger than 5.
The earthquake has helped bring together a country known for its age-old social fabric, where families and neighbors come together during times of crisis. About 5,400 people have mobilized to help with search operations, including professional rescue workers and 3,000 volunteers, some of whom have provided shelter to those pulled out of the rubble.
While the relatives of the missing lingered between hope and despair, a spokesman for firefighters, Luca Cari, told the Italian news media that it was still possible to find someone alive, even 72 hours after an earthquake.
Amid the devastation, there were glimmers of heroism and hope. A three-story convent on the edge of Amatrice was all but destroyed, as the two top floors came crashing down during the earthquake. But a nun who escaped said she would have remained trapped under the rubble, along with three other nuns and several retirees, if a young man had not rescued her. She called him “an angel.”