Italy declares emergency in regions worst hit by earthquake


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Quake Italia

Italy has declared a state of emergency in the worst-affected regions following a devastating 6.2-magnitude earthquake that has killed at least 268 people.

ROME, ACCRA, Aug.
26 – (UPI/GNA) – Italy has declared a state of emergency in the worst-affected
regions following a devastating 6.2-magnitude earthquake that has killed at
least 268 people.

Italian Prime
Minister Matteo Renzi and his Cabinet pledged $56 million for reconstruction
efforts. Italian Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan will suspend taxes in
affected areas.

Renzi declared
Saturday a day of mourning in which flags on public buildings throughout Italy
will fly at halfstaff. The towns of Amatrice, Arquata, Accumoli and Pescara del
Tronto were the worst hit. More than 200 people died in Amatrice alone and its
mayor said three-quarters of the town was destroyed.

Most deaths
occurred in the Rieti province, while Ascoli Piceno province was also badly
affected. Hundreds of aftershocks have disturbed the rescue efforts of about
5,000 workers. A 4.7-magnitude aftershock struck early Friday.

The initial quake
struck at 3:36 a.m. local time Wednesday with an epicenter 47 miles southeast
of Perugia at a depth of 6 miles, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.

Officials warn the
death toll may rise further if people possibly trapped in the rubble are not
rescued soon.

“The chances
of finding people alive in these conditions, in this type of setting, well,
it’s challenging,” Amatrice fire department official Lorenzo Botti told
BBC News.

GNA


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