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Italian Rescuers Mount Search for Quake Survivors


Rescue workers are searching for survivors of a powerful earthquake in central Italy that killed more than 150 people early Monday. Hundreds of others were injured in the quake and many thousands were left homeless.

Frantic rescue operations are underway in L'Aquila and nearby towns in an effort to find survivors that are believed to be trapped underneath the rubble. The death toll continues to rise and efforts are being made with construction cranes and sniffer dogs in an attempt to find people still alive under the collapsed buildings.

Outside of the areas where buildings have collapsed family members have gathered, crying and in despair. Some of them still hold out hope the rescuers may be able to remove the bodies of their loved ones. They want at least the bodies, if nothing else.

It was early morning when the quake hit. Many people rushed into the streets in their pajamas and slippers. Some had blankets with them and they wrapped themselves against the cold. This is a mountainous region.

People are very upset and many do not want to go home. Some attempted to pick up their belongings and gathered a suitcase or two as quickly as possible before heading to a makeshift tent city.

This is a large area where survivors have been provided with shelter and have been given food, water and medical assistance.

Volunteers have come in from all over Italy. And of course this is not only a problem that has hit L'Aquila in the Abruzzo region - the earthquake was felt as far as Rome.

The number of towns affected in Abruzzo is huge. Entire towns have been wiped out and, again, in some of these towns rescue efforts are underway to see if anybody can be found alive.

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