As the hours tick by the chances of more survivors being plucked from the rubble diminish as the full horror of Monday’s earthquake begins to dawn.
One person described the historic city of L’Aquila as looking like a lego town ripped apart and then strewn everywhere.
Rescue efforts look set to wind down in the next 48 hours as the second phase of the Civil Protection Department’s plan begins:
“ Tomorrow we begin the delicate task of going through all the buildings destroyed in the quake,” said Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.
Despite the fact that tents are running out and people are sleeping in their cars as temperatures drop to freezing. The Italian Prime Minister has refused the many offers of international help:
“ We have decided to say no thank you to all the countries that have offered to help because we can can deal with it ourselves, we are a proud country, with a strong welfare state.”
Berlusconi has said he will seek hundreds of millions of euros in EU disaster funds and vowed to rebuild the city within 28 months.