Italy quake toll rises to 235 amid deadly aftershock
L'Aquila (Italy), April 8 (DPA) The toll in the earthquake that struck central Italy climbed overnight to 235, according to a government emergency centre, while at least one person has been killed by a strong aftershock that hit the region.
Italian state television said a woman died in Santa Rufina di Roio, a suburb of the Abruzzo regional capital, L'Aquila, following an aftershock Tuesday. Additional details were not immediately available.
Fear gripped rescuers as well as thousands of survivors in makeshift shelters around the city shortly before 1800 GMT as the ground shook and masonry came crashing down.
Registering 5.3 magnitude on the Richter scale, the tremor was the most powerful of the more than 200 aftershocks that follow the main earthquake, which registered 5.8 to 6.2 before dawn Monday.
Like the main earthquake, the tremor was felt as far away as Rome, some 100 km from L'Aquila.
Meanwhile, Italian government officials met in Rome in the latest of a series of meetings to review the situation.
'We have 25,000 people who will not be able to return to their homes,' Abruzzo regional president Gianni Chiodi said following the meeting.
A 20-year-old survivor was freed from a hollow space inside a collapsed building Tuesday evening in L'Aquila. She was shifted to a hospital in a helicopter and is in good condition, the ANSA news agency reported.
Earlier, rescuers recovered the bodies of four students after more than 30 hours of work to remove debris at a damaged five-storey building that served as a university dormitory in the city.
Officials confirmed late Tuesday in Prague that two Czech teenagers were found dead in the rubble of the building where they were staying in L'Aquila. The 17-year-old students, a boy and a girl, both from the eastern Bohemian town of Pardubice, were in Italy on a short-term study programme, the Czech foreign ministry said.
L'Aquila was badly damaged, together with other towns near the earthquake's epicentre.
In a visit Tuesday to the city, Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said rescue work would continue for another 48 hours in hopes that some of the missing could be found alive.
He said Italy intended to turn down offers of help from abroad, but later said the government would consider sponsorship from the US and other countries to restore churches and other historical buildings.
US President Barack Obama, travelling Tuesday in Turkey and Iraq, telephoned Berlusconi to offer help and condolences. The Italian people and quake victims 'are in the thoughts and prayers of the American people at this time', Obama told Berlusconi, according to a statement from the White House.
Rescue efforts have been hampered by the region's hilly landscape, which has made it difficult for firefighters and soldiers backed by more than 2,000 volunteers to position cranes and other equipment needed to clear debris.
Berlusconi said that of the around 1,000 people injured in the earthquake, 500 are hospitalised in the Abruzzo region.
'Unfortunately the condition of 100 of these people is serious,' he said.
Read More: Italy | Czech Republic | R K Puram (main) | White Ganj | R.k.university Dso | J.j.hospital | Santa Cruz So | Dondaicha-town | S.v.u. P.g .centre | S.v.university So | G.s.t.centre | K.p.centre | Council House Street | W.b.assembly House | K.m.hospital | S.d.hospital | Santa | B.s.city R.s. | B.s.city Plant | K.r.centre | Mon
BJP CALLS FOR BCCI AND GOVT. TO TAKE STRONG ACTION
May 23, 2013 at 9:42 PM
9 INFANTS DIE IN MALDA HOSPITAL IN LAST 48 HOURS
May 23, 2013 at 9:40 PM
SUPPORTS STRONG LAW AGAINST FIXING, SAYS RAJIV SHUKLA
May 23, 2013 at 9:40 PM
ABDUL RAZZAKMarch 2, 2011 at 12:00 AM