Aftershocks Rock Italy as Quake Toll Hits 207

Strong aftershocks, weather hamper rescue efforts
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 7, 2009 7:46 AM CDT

(Newser) – Strong aftershocks briefly halted the search for survivors and sent rescuers scrambling for safety in central Italy today, as the death toll from yesterday's earthquake hit 207. At least 1,500 people were injured and 17,000 were made homeless. One person was pulled alive from the rubble today after nearly 23 hours, reports the BBC, but hopes are fading for the 15 others still missing.

Beyond the aftershocks—the strongest of which, at 4.9-magnitude, rattled furniture as far away as Rome—rescuers going through the rubble with diggers and their bare hands have been hampered by heavy rains. In the worst-hit city, L'Aquila, thousands of people spent the night in tents put up on open land and on the surrounding hillsides.