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Italy declares state of emergency in quake-affected areas

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Italy declares state of emergency in quake-affected areas

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Rescue teams work tirelessly scouring the rubble to find survivors in Italy.

The death toll from the earthquake has climbed to 267, with Amatrice the worst hit.

With every hour that passes, hopes fade for finding survivors. The head of the Civil Protection Department fears the death toll might eclipse that in L’Aquila which killed more than 300 people in 2009.

Thousands have been left homeless, some chose to spend another night in their cars, others in tents.

State of emergency

The government has declared a state of emergency and will release 50 million euros in emergency aid to the affected regions of Lazio, Marche and Umbria.

Prime Minister Matteo Renzi also announced a plan to boost the country’s earthquake defences and made an emotional statement in a news conference.

“The first words that come to the minds of all of us are “emotions”, “deep emotions” “painful emotions” because of what happened, because of the victims. When fate divides families, it’s always difficult to accept… And us, we’re humans first, then politicians.”

International response

The EU is assisting Italy in its emergency response. Italian authorities requested assistance including satellite mapping of the disaster-hit regions from the Copernicus Emergency Management Services.

Italian chefs all over the world have made the signature dish of Amatrice, a pasta recipe known as L’Amatriciana, into a way of raising funds. The idea being to donate a certain amount from the sale of the dish to those affected by the earthquake. You can follow the trend on Twitter under #eatforItaly.

World capitals also showed solidarity, lighting up monuments in the colours of the Italian flag.

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