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Rescuers help residents affected by overnight quake in central Italy


Emergency workers are assisting thousands of residents rendered homeless by earthquakes which struck central Italy on Wednesday night.

Unlike the August quake in Amatrice which killed scores of people, there have been no reports of anyone being killed or buried under the rubble in spite of the widespread damage caused by the quakes.

Rescue workers are nonetheless going around with sniffer dogs to check the piles of debris left in the wake of the quake.

The extent of the damage became more visible on Thursday after a series of aftershocks and weak tremors overnight.

Three quakes occurred two hours apart on Wednesday. The first which measured 5.4 caused many people to flee their homes. The second measured 6.1 on the richtser scale. An aftershock of 4.9 followed hours later.

“The situation is terrible because as you can see there is considerable damage. But luckily I can say it is better than what it looks like, because we don’t have anyone dead, injured or missing,” said Giuliano Pazzaglini, Mayor of Visso one of the affected towns.

Soldiers set up a solidarity centre where they provide meals for the displaced people, whilst fire men escorted residents to any buildings that were evaluated as being safe enough to enter to collect belongings.

“Everywhere is unreachable,” said Silvestra Gentile a local resident. “When I went into my house with the firemen, I felt really bad. I collected some belongings and came out. But that’s the situation. Last night I slept in the car, and tonight I will do the same – we’ve no choice.”

Sergio Albrizzi another resident on the other hand was not lucky. He told reporters: “My house is almost completely destroyed. It was still OK after the 7pm earthquake, but soon after it was impossible to enter.”

The quake comes nearly two months after a major quake in Amatrice and its environs killed scores of people and destroyed several towns.

The Italian government has said it set aside 40 million euros ($44 million) during a cabinet meeting on Thursday for immediate costs related to the earthquakes.

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