6.2 quake hits Central Italy, a town ‘gone’

Earthquake-Italy

: A magnitude 6.2  struck central early Wednesday, levelling buildings in several towns as residents slept.

The quake struck just after 3:30am and was felt across a broad section of central Italy, including the capital Rome where people in homes in the historic center felt a long swaying followed by aftershocks. First images of damage showed debris in the street and some collapsed buildings in towns and villages that dot much of the Umbrian countryside.

The hardest-hit towns were reported as Amatrice, Accumoli and Norcia.

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The mayor of Amatrice near Rieti, Sergio Pirozzi, told state-run RAI radio and Sky TG24 that residents were buried under collapsed buildings, that the lights had gone out and that heavy equipment was needed to clear streets covered with debris.

“The town isn’t here anymore,” he said.

At least four people have been killed in Italian town of Accumoli.

“It was so strong. It seemed the bed was walking across the room by itself with us on it,” Lina Mercantini of Ceselli, Umbria, told Reuters.

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Olga Urbani, in the nearby town of Scheggino, said: “Dear God it was awful. The walls creaked and all the books fell off the shelves.”

Residents of Rome, some 170 km (105 miles) from the registered epicentre, were woken by the quake, which rattled furniture and swayed lights in most of central Italy.