Italy earthquake: Before and after images show destruction
- 25 August 2016
- From the section Europe
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."
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.
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."