A powerful earthquake shook central Italy yesterday, leaving at least 120 people dead and a trail of destruction across several mountain villages packed with holidaymakers.
With more than 360 people injured, some critically, and an unknown number trapped under rubble, the death toll from the pre-dawn quake was expected to rise, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi told reporters after visiting the badly-hit village of Amatrice.
Scores of buildings were reduced to dusty piles of masonry in communities close to the epicentre of the quake, which had a magnitude of between 6.0 and 6.2.
It hit a remote area straddling Umbria, Marche and Lazio at a time of year when second-home owners and other visitors swell the numbers staying there.
Many of the victims were from Rome. The devastated area is just north of L’Aquila, the city where some 300 people died in another quake in 2009.
Most of the deaths occurred in and around the villages of Amatrice, Accumoli and Arquata del Tronto.
It was Italy’s most powerful earthquake since the 2009 disaster in L’Aquila. Pages 2, 15