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At Least 21 Dead as Italy Earthquake Reduces Towns to Rubble

24 August 2016 15:54

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A powerful earthquake hit central Italy on Wednesday, destroying small mountain towns and burying victims in the rubble of collapsed buildings. At least 21 people were killed and as many as 100 were reported to be missing.

The quake struck at 3:36 a.m., Italy’s Department of Civil Protection said in a statement Wednesday. The death toll has continued to climb throughout the morning as rescuers search for survivors and bodies amid the debris of small mountain towns in the regions of Lazio, Umbria and Marche.

The 6.2-magnitude tremor hit at a depth of 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) around 43 kilometers from the town of Rieti, according to the US Geological Survey.

Shaking was felt in buildings in Rome and there were a series of aftershocks reported. Relief efforts were hampered by damage to radio and satellite links damaged, Civil Protection said, Bloomberg Reported.

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