Themorningbellbd.com desk, August 24: At least 73 people have died in an earthquake which devastated a string of small towns in central Italy in the early hours of Wednesday, the civil protection department said.
The quake struck when most residents were asleep, razing homes and buckling roads in a cluster of communities some 140 km (85 miles) east of Rome.
The quake struck towns and villages in the mountainous heart of the country, which was making the rescue operation more difficult, said spokeswoman Immacolata Postiglione.
Speaking to journalists, Postiglione said 27 people had died between the towns of Accumoli and Amatrice, and a further 10 had died in the nearby Arquata area. Later in her press conference she upped the death toll to 38, without giving further details.