Italy earthquake: Before and after images show destruction

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Rescue teams search through collapsed buildings in Amatrice, central Italy, following a 6.2 magnitude earthquake - 24 August 2016Image copyrightEPA

A strong earthquake has devastated a string of mountain towns and villages in central Italy, killing dozens of 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.

The epicentre was near Norcia, a town popular with foreign tourists, but most of the deaths were in the nearby towns of Accumoli and Amatrice and the village of Pescara del Tronto.

Map showing severity of Italy earthquake

The first confirmed deaths following the quake came in Amatrice, when search teams found two bodies amid the rubble.

The town’s mayor, Sergio Pirozzi, told the AP news agency that more than a dozen victims had been discovered by rescuers, but added: “I believe the number will rise.”

The earthquake badly damaged the centre of Amatrice, shown in these two pictures of the same street before and after the quake - 24 August 2016Image copyrightGOOGLE/AP
Image captionThe main street through Amatrice was reduced to rubble following the earthquake
This aerial photo shows the damaged buildings in the centre of Amatrice - 24 August 2016Image copyrightAP
Image captionThe clock tower in the town centre was left standing but many of the surrounding buildings were not
An image of a house in Amatrice before and after the earthquake in central Italy – 24 August 2016Image copyrightGOOGLE/REUTERS
Image captionMany homes in and around the small town were completely destroyed by the tremors
A church in Amatrice before and after it wasbadly damaged by an earthquake in central Italy - 24 August 2016Image copyrightGOOGLE/AFP
Image captionA church in the town was also badly damaged, losing much of the top of the building and its roof

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, it is not a good situation.”

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.

“I hope they don’t forget us,” he told the Sky TG24 broadcaster.

A building in the centre of Accumoli before and after the earthquake - 24 August 2016Image copyrightGOOGLE/REUTERS
Image captionA residential building in the heart of Accumoli that was partially destroyed by the quake
Firefighters search amid rubble following an earthquake in Accumoli, central Italy - 24 August 2016Image copyrightAP
Image captionAccumoli Mayor Stefano Petrucci said some hundreds of people had been left homeless

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.

An image of some of the damage on the Via Salaria road in Pescara del Tronto compared to an image of the street before the quake - 24 August 2016Image copyrightGOOGLE/EPA
Image captionOne section of the road into Pescara del Tronto was almost entirely destroyed
A general view of Pescara del Tronto town destroyed by the earthquake - 24 August 2016Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionPhotos taken from the air by regional firefighters showed much of the town flattened


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