The 6.2 magnitude earthquake that hit Italy Wednesday morning has resulted in at least 250 deaths. Fox News reports:
Rescue crews aided by sniffer dogs dug through crumbled homes in Italy Thursday looking for earthquake survivors as the death toll reached 250 and officials anguished over how to secure their ancient towns and modern cities from the country’s highly seismic terrain.
As many as 365 people were injured in the quake that struck at 3:36 a.m. Wednesday, Italy’s civil protection service announced. At least 470 aftershocks have since rattled the area, triggering more damage to centuries-old buildings in Amatrice. One aftershock had a magnitude of 5.1.
After a night of uninterrupted, flood-lit search efforts, firefighters and rescue crews worked in teams around the hard-hit area in central Italy, pulling chunks of cement, rock and metal from mounds of rubble where homes once stood, searching for signs of life.
Rescuers believe people trapped in the rubble can survive for up to 72-hours so they have been searching around-the-clock. Yesterday a 10-year-old girl was pulled from the rubble alive after being trapped for 17 hours:
This CNN clip features a rescue worker trying to reassure someone who is still trapped that they will be rescued:
Fox News notes that Italy has seen significant loss of life from 8 quakes in the past 40 years, in part because many of the old buildings have not been properly retrofitted and new ones aren’t built up to code:
Some experts estimate that 70 percent of Italy’s buildings aren’t built to anti-seismic standards, though not all are in high-risk areas. After every major quake, proposals are made to improve, but they often languish in Italy’s thick bureaucracy and chronic funding shortages. It’s no small task to secure thousands of ancient towns and newer structures built before codes were passed or later in violation of them.
The story notes that some of the deadliest collapses in previous quakes have been more recently built structures.