Death toll in Italy earthquake climbs as Renzi promises quick government response


At least 250 people have lost their lives in an earthquake that devastated parts of Italy earlier this week. Prime Minister Matteo Renzi promised action to prevent such a tragedy from occuring again.

Authorities on Thursday said they expected the death toll to rise even further, as rescue teams continued to search for people buried beneath the rubble.

The magnitude-6 quake levelled three towns – Amatrice, Accumoli and Arquata del Tronto – in central Italy on Wednesday morning, destroying hundreds of homes.

On Thursday, Amatrice was hit by a 4.3-magnitude aftershock, one of more than 400 temblors that have continued to devastate the area following the earthquake.

At least 365 people were still hospitalized, according to an official with Italy’s civil defense agency. Cranes and emergency teams were brought in to remove the rubble.

One woman, Alessandra Cioni, who managed to escape from her destroyed home, said she had no option but to push on. “We have been saved, not like half the people in this place who have lost their lives,” she told Reuters news agency.