Death Toll in Italy Quake Rises to 150
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 6, 2009 2:33 PM CDT
Coffins and bodies covered by white sheets are lined up in the village of Onna, central Italy.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The death toll in today’s Italian earthquake rose to more than 150 as rescue workers and volunteers continued the search for survivors, the Times reports. About 15,000 buildings were damaged, and residents are being warned to stay away until engineers can evaluate them. “We are working without stopping for breath,” a Red Cross official said. “We believe there may be hundreds of people still alive underneath.”

Aside from the human cost, ancient churches, museums, and other architectural landmarks were damaged at the epicenter of the quake in L’Aquila, ANSA reports. The apse of a 13th century basilica collapsed, and the cupola sheared off another church rebuilt in 1703 following its destruction by an earthquake then. The National Museum of Abruzzo, housed in a 16th-century castle, also suffered a collapse, and is too dangerous to enter.