Several killed in Italy quake; death toll may rise

April 6th, 2009 - 1:00 pm ICT by ANI  

Rome, Apr.6 (ANI): At least 13 people have been killed in a powerful earthquake in central Italy, Italian officials say.

The earthquake measuring 6.3 on the Richter Scale struck at 3.32 a.m. local time about 95 km north-east of Rome, at a depth of 10 km.

Four children were said to be among the dead, with reports of more fatalities in and around the city of L’Aquila.

The BBC quoted a civil protection official as saying that the earthquake may have damaged 3,000 to 10,000 buildings.

Agostino Miozzo said that thousands could have been made homeless. He described scenes of panic, but said that rescue workers were on the scene.

Television footage of L’Aquila showed a number of collapsed buildings.

Officials said they feared the death toll would rise as workers made their way through the rubble.

L’Aquila, a medieval town of about 70,000 inhabitants with a number of old buildings, is the capital of the mountainous Abruzzo region.

A Sky News report confirmed that buildings have collapsed and that people have been killed or are trapped.

It said some residents in the old town of l’Aquila, east of Rome in the mountainous Abruzzo region, ran out into the streets as buildings in the centre of the town collapsed.

“This is a significant earthquake. This is a shallow quake but there is definitely a possibility of damage and even injuries. It is going to depend on what type of buildings are in the area. We haven’t had any information yet coming from the epicentre area,” Rafael Abreu, of the US Geological Survey, told Sky News. (ANI)

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