Hope For Survivors Fades As Italy Quake Toll Climbs


Hope for survivors fades as Italy quake toll climbs

AMATRICE, Italy,(APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News -26th Augst,2016) : An increasingly forlorn search for victims of the earthquake that brought carnage to central Italy entered a third day Friday as a day of mourning was declared for victims of a disaster that has claimed at least 267 lives. Flags will fly at half-mast across the country on Saturday to coincide with the first funerals. Releasing the new confirmed death toll, Immacolata Postiglione, head of the Civil Protection agency's emergency unit, indicated there had been no survivors found overnight in any of the remote mountain villages devastated by Wednesday's powerful pre-dawn quake. At least 367 people have been hospitalised with injuries but no one has been pulled alive from the piles of collapsed masonry since Wednesday evening. "There is noone under the rubble here but in Amatrice there is still hope that survivors could be found today," survivor Fabrizio Micozzi told AFP in the hamlet of San Lorenzo Flaviano. Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has declared a state of emergency for the regions affected by Wednesday's quake, which occurred in an area that straddles Umbria, Lazio and Marche.

Renzi also released an initial tranche of 50 million Euros ($56 million) in emergency aid. The first funerals will be held in the city of Ascoli-Piceno for 40 of the victims who died in the villages of Arquata del Tronto and Pescara del Tronto in the mountains of the Marche region. President Sergio Mattarella will attend. A total of 46 people died in the two villages.

The youngest was born in 2012, the oldest in 1924, according to a list published by the local prefecture. Some 2,100 people who spent the night in hastily-erected tented villages were shaken by a 4.8 magnitude aftershock just after 6:00 am (0400 GMT). The tremor underlined the perilous nature of a rescue effort involving more than 4,000 emergency service staff and volunteers. More than 900 aftershocks have rattled the region since Wednesday's 6.0-6.2 magnitude first one triggered the collapse of hundreds of ill-prepared old buildings across dozens of tiny communities playing host to far more people than usual because of the summer holidays.