Europe

Italy earthquake: Before and after images show destruction

  • 25 August 2016
  • From the section Europe
Rescuers in Amatrice, Italy on 24 August 2016 Image copyright AP

A strong earthquake has devastated a string of mountain towns and villages in central Italy, killing at least 250 people and leaving many unaccounted for.

The 6.2 magnitude quake, which was followed by several aftershocks, struck at 03:36 (01:36 GMT) on Wednesday, 100km (65 miles) north-east of Rome.

Worst affected were the towns of Accumoli and Amatrice and the villages of Pescara del Tronto and Arquata del Tronto.

The first confirmed deaths following the quake came in Amatrice, and by Thursday it was clear that many had been buried when the town collapsed.

The town's mayor, Sergio Pirozzi, told the AP news agency: "Half the village has disappeared."

The earthquake badly damaged the centre of Amatrice, shown in these two pictures of the same street before and after the quake - 24 August 2016 Image copyright Google/AP
Image caption The main street through Amatrice was reduced to rubble following the earthquake
This aerial photo shows the damaged buildings in the centre of Amatrice - 24 August 2016 Image copyright AP
Image caption The clock tower in the town centre was left standing but many of the surrounding buildings were not
An image of a house in Amatrice before and after the earthquake in central Italy – 24 August 2016 Image copyright Google/Reuters
Image caption Many homes in and around the small town were completely destroyed by the tremors
A church in Amatrice before and after it wasbadly damaged by an earthquake in central Italy - 24 August 2016 Image copyright Google/AFP
Image caption A church in the town was also badly damaged, losing much of the top of the building and its roof

In Accumoli, a small mountain town, the first victims were a family of four who were found under the debris of a collapsed building.

Mayor Stefano Petrucci told reporters: "We have a tragedy here. There are people under the ruins."

He said the town of just 700 residents swells to 2,000 in the summer months thanks to tourism, but that he feared for its future after the earthquake.

A building in the centre of Accumoli before and after the earthquake - 24 August 2016 Image copyright Google/Reuters
Image caption A residential building in the heart of Accumoli that was partially destroyed by the quake
Firefighters search amid rubble following an earthquake in Accumoli, central Italy - 24 August 2016 Image copyright AP
Image caption Accumoli Mayor Stefano Petrucci said some hundreds of people had been left homeless

The village of Pescara del Tronto was also badly hit, with the Italian news agency ANSA reporting that at least 10 people had been killed there.

The main road into and out of the town was covered in debris, making it difficult for search and rescue teams to gain access to some damaged areas.

The neighbouring village of Arquata del Tronto was also devastated by the earthquake. Mayor Aleandro Petrucci told AFP news agency: "If we don't get help, l'Arquata is finished."

An image of some of the damage on the Via Salaria road in Pescara del Tronto compared to an image of the street before the quake - 24 August 2016 Image copyright Google/EPA
Image caption One section of the road into Pescara del Tronto was almost entirely destroyed
Destruction in Arquata del Tronto Image copyright Google/Getty
Image caption Arquata del Tronto Mayor Aleandro Petrucci said the population of the area triples in the summer
A general view of Pescara del Tronto town destroyed by the earthquake - 24 August 2016 Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Photos taken from the air of Pescara del Tronto by regional firefighters showed much of the village flattened

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