Italy Death Toll Nears That of 2009 L'Aquila Earthquake

247 confirmed dead
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 25, 2016 6:26 AM CDT
Rescuers mark a building with paint signaling the date and time of start and end of the search operation on that building.   (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
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(Newser) – After what the AP terms a night of "uninterrupted search efforts," the death toll in central Italy has risen to 247, the number steadily inching toward that of the devastating 2009 L'Aquila quake, which killed 308. The tiny towns of Amatrice and Accumoli were the hardest hit and claim the lion's share of the casualties. "Unfortunately, 90% we pull out are dead, but some make it, that's why we are here," says a volunteer in Amatrice. One firefighter who came in from Rome to help says around 15 survivors were found in Amatrice overnight. "There are no words when that happens."

In Pescara del Tronto, a 10-year-old girl was pulled alive from the rubble after 16 hours; her sister, by her side, was dead, reports ANSA. The Guardian reports one victim, an 18-month-old, had been born to a mother who survived the L'Aquila quake. As the rescue efforts continue, so too do the aftershocks, with 460 occurring since the 3:36am Wednesday quake. ANSA reports 100 of them hit overnight, with the strongest having a magnitude of 4.5. The AP reports Italy's culture minister asked that Italians turn out en masse at the country's museums and archaeological sites on Sunday "in a concrete sign of solidarity" with victims; all of Sunday's proceeds will go to the restoration of damaged buildings. (Read more earthquake stories.)

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