10 people have been confirmed dead after a strong earthquake brought down buildings in mountainous central Italy early on Wednesday, trapping residents and sending others fleeing into the streets.
The 6.2-magnitude earthquake hit 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) southeast of Norcia at 3:36 a.m. today, the United States Geological Survey said, even as its tremors rattled Rome about 100 miles away.
The heavy tremor caused serious damage to a number of towns and villages, but did not seem to have hit heavily populated areas.
It was gathered that the worst affected towns were; Accumoli, Amatrice, Posta and Arquata del Tronto.
“Now that daylight has come, we see that the situation is even more dreadful than we feared with buildings collapsed, people trapped under the rubble and no sound of life,” said Accumoli mayor Stefano Petrucci.
“The town is no more,” Mayor Sergio Pirozzi told the affiliate. “I have an appeal to make: we have access roads to the town cut off and people under the rubble, help us.”
Pirozzi lamented that there was no power, and it was crucial for rescue crews to get to the town.
“We don’t have any more light (electricity) and it is urgent to clear the access roads,” he said.
A Reuters reporter said the town’s hospital had been badly damaged by the quake, with patients moved into the streets.