Italian earthquake death toll rises to 120 with 100 still trapped under the rubble as rescuers searching for their loved ones can only hear the sound of CATS

Wednesday, August 24, 2016
By Paul Martin

The 6.2-magnitude earthquake struck near Norcia in Umbria, central Italy, at around 3.30am local time
120 dead including 8-month-old baby, his brother, nine, and their parents, who were buried in their sleep
The hardest-hit towns were reported as Amatrice and Accumoli – some areas are completely cut off
The 13th Century bell-tower in Amatrice is one of the few buildings that remains standing
Elderly couple from Pescara del Tronto were the first people reported as dead
A newborn baby was also found dead after being pulled from a family home in the same village
Stefano Petrucci, mayor of Accumoli, said some 2,500 people are left homeless in the local community
Quake shook buildings in the capital Rome – around 100 miles away – and was felt across Italy and in Croatia
Mayor of Amatrice: ‘The roads in and out of town are cut off. Half the town is gone – there are many dead’
Umbrian region is packed with tourists – popular with Britons and also Italians escaping summer heat

By Sarah Dean and Julian Robinson and Martin Robinson
24 August 2016

The true horror of the Italian earthquake disaster was revealed today as witnesses likened the hellish scenes to ‘Dante’s inferno’ while shocking pictures showed how four towns were almost wiped off the map.

At least 120 people were killed, including two babies, and 100 people are believed to be trapped under rubble after the 6.2-magnitude quake struck at 3.30am local time this morning while villagers slept in their beds.

Today rescuers spoke of hearing children’s screams from the rubble and locals were spotted frantically digging with their bare hands to try and save loved ones.

One man, Guido Bordo, 69, lost his sister and her husband after they were trapped inside their holiday house in the hamlet of Illica, north of hard-hit Amatrice. Before their deaths were confirmed, he had described how he could only hear the sound of cats as he scrambled to find his loved-ones beneath the rubble.

The first victim to be named by local media reports is Marisol Piermarini – an 18-month-old baby who was sleeping in her crib when the house she was staying in Arquata del Tronto collapsed. Mother Martina and father Massimiliano were on holiday with their baby when she was killed. They have been taken to hospital with ‘many wounds’ after being pulled from the rubble.

The tragic little girl’s grandfather, Massimo Piermarini, told Ansa he desperately tried to save his family: ‘They did not want me to go in because it was all in danger, but I said that I did not care at all, I had to go looking for them, but unfortunately for the girl there was nothing to do.’

The quake which devastated the mountainside towns and villages of Amatrice, Accumoli, Arquata del Tronto and Pescara del Tronto was so powerful that it even rocked buildings in the centre of Rome more than 100 miles away and was felt as far away as Croatia.

Survivors today described ‘apocalyptic’ scenes in towns and villages at the border of three regions – Umbria, Lazio and Marche – near the city of Perugia, which is especially popular with British holidaymakers.

The Rest…HERE

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