BELGRADE – At least 14 people were reportedly killed in a powerful 6.2 magnitude earthquake that hit central Italy, and the death toll is expected to rise, local media report. Several cities and towns have been severely damaged or reduced to rubble, officials said.
Local authorities said earlier in the day that 10 people had been confirmed killed and 20 were hospitalized. The earthquake hit central Italy and was felt across the region, in particular, in Rome. The quake has resulted in serious damage in the town of Amatrice.
“Three quarters of the town is not there anymore,” Amatrice Mayor Sergio Pirozzi told Italian media. “The aim now is to save as many lives as possible. There are voices under the rubble, we have to save the people there.”
Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi is in constant contact with the country’s Civil Protection Department over the consequences of a powerful quake that hit Italy on Wednesday.
According to the RaiNews24 television channel, Renzi arrived at the governmental Palazzo Chigi in Rome early in the day in order to personally monitor the situation unraveling in the central part of the country.
The Italian army has been mobilized to aid earthquake-affected areas, the Italian Defense Ministry wrote on Twitter.