‘The Town Isn’t Here Anymore’: Two Reported Dead After Earthquake Strikes Italy

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UPDATE 12:45 a.m. ET:

The mayor of the Italian town of Accumoli said Wednesday a family of four is trapped under debris without any signs of life after a magnitude 6.1 earthquake rocked much of central Italy, damaging several buildings and causing blackouts across the epicenter Rieti.

Original story continues below.

ROME (TheBlaze/AP) — There are at least two dead, according to reports from state-run RAI radio, after a magnitude 6.1 earthquake struck central Italy early Wednesday, with reports of damaged buildings and blackouts near the epicenter Rieti and residents fleeing their homes and running into the streets.

The quake struck just after 3:30 a.m. 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.

The European Mediterranean Seismological Center put the magnitude at 6.1 and said the epicenter was northeast of Rome, near Rieti. The U.S. Geological Survey put the magnitude at 6.2.

The mayor of Amatrice near Rieti, Sergio Perozzi, told RAI that there were downed buildings in the city center and that the lights had gone out. He said he was unable to get in touch with emergency responders or reach the hospital.

“What can I tell you? It’s a drama,” he said.

Perozzi sia residents are buried under the debris of collapsed buildings and that “the town isn’t here anymore,” adding he needs heavy equipment to clear rubble-clogged streets to get to the injured.

Asked if there were any dead he said: “Look there are houses that aren’t here anymore. I hope we get some help.”

In 2009, a 6.3-magnitude earthquake struck in the same region and killed more than 300 people. The earlier earthquake struck L’Aquila in central Italy, about 90 kilometers (55 miles) south of the latest quake.

Front page photo credit: Twitter/@magmar81

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