Powerful earthquake strikes central Italy

Quake magnitude 6.2 followed by long aftershocks that bring death and devastation to towns and villages.

| Italy, Earthquake

At least 38 people died in a powerful earthquake that hit central Italy early on Wednesday, a spokeswoman for the Civil Protection Department said.

The earthquake struck towns and villages in the mountainous heart of the country, which was making the rescue operation more difficult, said Immacolata Postiglione.

Postiglione said 27 people had died between the towns of Accumoli and Amatrice, and a further 10 people had died in the nearby Arquata area. Later in the press conference, she increased the death toll to 38, without giving further details.

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