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US President Barack Obama has taken a break from talks at the G8 summit to witness at first hand the devastation caused by April’s earthquake in L’Aquila.

Walking through the narrow streets of the old town, there was little to see but collapsed buildings and piles of rubble. Obama offered his condolences to city officials and thanked emergency workers for their continuing efforts. Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi moved the G8 summit to L’Aquila from Sardinia to show solidarity with the townspeople. He was also on hand to show other world leaders like Russian President Dmitri Medvedev around the flattened neighbourhoods. Nearly 300 people died in the earthquake and around 50 thousand were left homeless.

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