Italian Prime Minister: At least 120 killed in ‘apocalyptic’ earthquake


ROME, Italy – Matteo Renzi, the Italian Prime Minister, has said at least 120 people have been killed by the earthquake that struck Italy in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

Earlier the death toll from the quake had been put at 73.

He thanked rescue workers in central Italy for their efforts in recovering dozens of people from rubble caused by a massive earthquake in the region.

“At moments of trouble Italy knows how to cope. No family, no city, no hamlet will be left alone,” he said.

At least 120 people were killed in the 6.2 magnitude quake, which sent residents fleeing their homes and running into the streets. A family of four were also trapped under the rubble and showing no signs of life.

The shallow quake, estimated to have struck after 3:30am at a depth of six miles, was felt across a broad section of central Italy, including the capital Rome where people in homes in the historic center felt a long swaying followed by aftershocks.

The European Mediterranean Seismological Centre put the magnitude at 6.1. The US Geological Survey put the magnitude at 6.2, with the epicenter at Norcia, about 105 miles northwest of Rome.

In 2009 a 6.3-magnitude earthquake in the Aquila region, which was also felt in the Italian capital, left more than 300 dead.

Italy is often shaken by earthquakes. Another quake hit the northern Emilia Romagna region in May 2012, when two violent shocks 10 days apart left 23 people dead and 14,000 others homeless.