Deadly earthquake strikes central Italy


Image courtesy: The National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology at the National Seismic Network, Italy

An earthquake has struck central Italy killing at least 73 people and leaving dozens more trapped under rubble.

Damage from the 6.2 quake was centred on the town of Amatrice, while a family of four are also believed to have been killed by collapsing rubble in the nearby town of Accumoli.

The earthquake was recorded at 03:36 this morning, some 100 kilometres north-east of Rome.

Italian officials warned the number of fatalities was likely to rise, with the head of the civil protection department comparing the intensity of the quake to one in Aquila in 2009 in which 309 people died.

The risks of after-shocks in the area in the coming hours are considered to be high.

The epicentre was located by the National Seismic Network at the INGV at a depth of four kilometres.

There were also 39 localised seismic events of magnitude equal to or greater than three, the INGV added.