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30 missing in hotel buried by avalanche in Italy


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30 missing in hotel buried by avalanche in Italy

The latest update from central Italy now where…



A full-scale operation is underway after a mountain hotel was buried by an avalanche on Wednesday.

More than 20 guests and ten staff are missing at the Hotel Rigopiano in the village of Farindola.

At least one person is reported to have been killed.

Rescuers are saying they fear “many people” have died.

The hotel lies at the foot of the Gran Sasso mountain in the central region of Abruzzo.

Firefighters, mountain rescue teams, police and ambulances are at the scene.

Footage from the inside of the building shows the interior engulfed in snow.

Emergency teams battled through deep drifts to reach the hotel near the Gran Sasso mountain.

The route was also blocked by fallen trees. Teams used skis to get through.

It is thought the avalanche was triggered by an earthquake.

The region was hit by a series of strong tremors on Wednesday.

In total, there were 10 quakes over the magnitude of 4.0 on Wednesday, clustered in a 10 kilometre radius around Amatrice.

The town was devastated by an earthquake last August.

Experts have warned the risk of another earthquake in the area is high.

Rescuers at the site include:


  • 20 firefighters
  • two mountain rescue teams
  • six ambulances
  • local police


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In tweets










Heavy snowfall is hampering earthquake rescue operations elsewhere.

The regions of Lazio, Marche and Abruzzo were shaken by a series of strong tremors on Wednesday.

The area is recovering from a series of severe earthquakes last year.



Montereale



Montereale is one of the villages closest to the epicentre of Wednesday’s earthquakes.

The village was flattened by a tremor in 1703. It was heavily damaged in the L’Aquila quake of 2009.

Locals are also coping with unusually heavy snowfall.

‘‘We have had this problem since 2009”, Mayor Massimiliano Georgi told reporters. “Every time we get back on our feet , another one comes along. Unfortunately we have to live with this problem and we have to try to keep going.’‘

“There is very heavy snow. This is the problem. It is very cold. We cannot sleep at home tonight, because we are afraid (of the earthquake) but outside, in the car or in a tent, it is very cold and snowy,” said a resident.





Castiglione Messer Raimondo



A woman and her baby son have been pulled from the rubble. Both had hypothermia.

The fire service says a helicopter scrambled to take them to hospital got into difficulty and they had to be transported by road.



Earthquakes



The US Geological Survey said the three strongest tremors all struck within the space of one hour.

They had magnitudes of 5.3, 5.7 and 5.6.

In total, there were 10 quakes over the magnitude of 4.0, clustered in a 10 kilometre radius around Amatrice,

The town was devastated by an earthquake last August.

Experts have warned the risk of another earthquake in the area is high.