Latest: Death toll up to 159 in Italy quake
Italian rescue workers are expecting fewer casualties than initially feared at the site of a hotel that was badly damaged in Wednesday’s earthquake.
Officials initially said about 70 people had been staying at the Hotel Roma in the central Italian town of Amatrice when the quake struck.
But an official with Italy’s civil protection agency, Luigi d’Angelo, told Sky TG24 that about 35 people had been staying at the hotel, and most had managed to get out. Carlo Cardinali, a local fire official taking part in the search efforts at the hotel, estimated that about 10 guests were missing.
Five bodies have been pulled from the rubble.
Workers had been forced to suspend their search at the hotel, though overnight searches for earthquake survivors were continuing elsewhere.
Among the victims of an earthquake in Italy was an 18-month-old girl whose mother survived the deadly earthquake of 2009 in nearby L’Aquila and moved away from there after that terrible experience.
The news agency ANSA reported that the toddler, Marisol Piermarini, was sleeping in her bed in the family’s vacation home in Arquata del Tronto when the quake struck early Wednesday.
Her mother, Martina Turco, survived the earthquake that struck L’Aquila, killing more than 300 people. Now she is being treated in a hospital after being pulled from the rubble as the family mourns the death of the little girl.
Italian authorities say that the death toll in an earthquake on Wednesday has risen to 159.
The civil protection agency gave the updated figure shortly before midnight in Italy, some 20 hours after the earthquake struck. The tremors reduced three towns to rubble and sparked urgent search efforts.
Some of the survivors of an earthquake in Italy are spending their first night in a makeshift shelter on the edge of Amatrice, a town destroyed in Italy’s quake on Wednesday.
Late into the night a temporary shelter in a sports center was still being prepared.
Residents forced from destroyed or damaged homes arrived clutching some of their own belongings and lining up for blankets, sweaters and other donated items to get through a chilly night in the hilltop town. Officials say the death toll is at 159.
Bottled water and cookies were put out for the displaced people, as were diapers, though no babies were there.
A rescue official says Italian rescue workers have been forced to suspend their search at the site of a hotel that was badly damaged in Wednesday’s earthquake.
Officials say about 70 people had been staying at the Hotel Roma in the central Italian town of Amatrice when the quake struck early Wednesday. Five bodies have been pulled from the rubble so far.
A rescue worker told The Associated Press about 10 p.m. that it was too dark and dangerous to continue, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media. An AP photographer went to the site and saw it was pitch black.
One of the people killed in the rubble of the hotel was an 11-year-old boy who had initially given signs of life.
Overnight searchers for earthquake survivors or victims were continuing in some other places in central Italy.
___ Alessandra Tarantino in Amatrice.
A 10-year-old girl has been pulled alive from the rubble in Pescara del Tronto, one of the three towns most severely demolished by the earthquake in central Italy.
You can hear something under here. Quiet, quiet,” one rescue worker said, before soon urging her on: “Come on, Giulia, come on, Giulia. … Watch your head.”
Cheers broke out when she was pulled out.
Two women ran up the street yelling “She’s alive!”
Chief firefighter Danilo Dionesei confirmed the girl was pulled out alive and was taken to a nearby hospital.
He didn’t immediately give any further details about her condition.
President Barack Obama is telling Italian President Sergio Mattarella that the U.S. sends its thoughts and prayers after the earthquake that killed at least 120 people and injured hundreds.
The White House says Obama spoke to Mattarella by phone on Wednesday. White House spokesman Josh Earnest says the president saluted the “quick action” by first responders in Italy.
Earnest says the U.S. State Department is working to provide assistance to any Americans who may be affected.
Italy’s health minister says many children were among the 120 victims of the earthquake in the country’s center.
Minister Beatrice Lorenzin spoke to the AP Wednesday as she left the quake-hit Amatrice on foot, but didn’t specify how many children were among those killed or injured.
She said that while there’s no immediate blood emergency in the quake-hit zone, residents will have other health needs down the line, especially psychological.
The area hardest hit by the quake is a popular vacation spot for Italians enjoying the final days of summer. For Romans, the medieval hamlets 90 minutes’ drive from the capital are popular spots for country houses.
Lorenzin said the rescue operation functioned well.
“Sadly we are used to this phenomenon,” she said.
U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric says Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has expressed his condolences to the people and governments of quake-hit Italy and Myanmar.
He said Wednesday Ban “is very much saddened” by the loss of life and damage done by the earthquakes in the two countries.
Dujarric added the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs is in contact with Italian authorities and along with its partners stands ready to support the government and local organizations “should any humanitarian support be needed.”
Italian Premier Matteo Renzi says the death toll from the quake that hit central Italy has risen to 120.
Renzi spoke Wednesday evening in the provincial capital of Rieti after visiting rescue crews and survivors in the hard-hit town of Amatrice and flying over other demolished towns in nearby Le Marche region.
Renzi said 34 people died in Le Marche, the rest from the other towns. He also says the identification of quake bodies was a difficult process.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has offered his condolences to Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni for “the loss of life and devastation” caused by the earthquake in central Italy.
U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby said Wednesday that Kerry had offered any U.S. assistance that Italy might require and made clear “the American people stand with Italians in this difficult time.”
He said Kerry pledged to stay in close contact as search, rescue and recovery efforts continue.