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Aftershocks hampering rescue efforts in Italy's hilltop town of Amatrice

Aftershocks hampering rescue efforts in Italy's hilltop town of Amatrice

Italy

Recurrent aftershocks in the Italian hilltop town of Amatrice is hampering rescue works as it has damaged roads leading to the town.

More than 1,000 aftershocks have hit the town since Wednesday’s magnitude 6.2 quake which has killed more than 250 people.

A 4.7 quake on Friday morning has damaged key routes into the town, making it nearly impossible to access the town by road.

Forestry Service Guard, Valerio Checchi said Friday’s quake “seriously damaged” the bridge connecting the town.

“The street at the top of the village is also temporarily closed so we are completely isolated. All the engineers and civil protection workers and the army are now working to restore at least one route,” he added.

A state of emergency has been declared in the region and civil protection teams are bringing supplies into the town on foot.

Amatrice, which was once voted as one of the most beautiful places in Italy is now in ruins with an estimated 2,500 people rendered homeless.

Claudio, one of the many residents of Amatrice returning to the town in the hope of retrieving some possessions said he had not been able to salvage anything.

“Nothing. Only the pajamas I was wearing, nothing else. No slippers, no shoes. Everything is underneath the ruins. I don’t have documents. I don’t have money. I don’t have my bank card, my credit cards. Nothing. Now we are trying to understand how to solve this situation, that’s all. Anyway, we try to go on.”

His dog which he feared lost has however been retrieved.

“I thought the dog was underneath the ruins. But this morning, they called me and, because he has a microchip, they told me, ‘look, someone found your dog’.”

The Italian government has promised to rebuild the historic towns and villages which have been flattened by Wednesday’s quake.

The affected residents may however need several months or even years to rebuild their lives.

A state funeral is being held on Saturday for some of the victims.

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