A powerful earthquake killed at least 120 people and destroyed a cluster of small mountain villages in Central Italy Wednesday,as rescue workers were digging frantically through the rubble of historic buildings for any survivors.
Italian Premier Matteo Renzi announced the updated death toll. Among the hardest hit towns was Amatrice, a village of 2,700 in the province of Rieti. Survivors painted a grim picture of devastation following the magnitude-6.2 quake, which struck at 3:36 a.m. and was felt as far away as Rome.
“The town isn’t here anymore,” said Sergio Pirozzi, the mayor of Amatrice. “We came out to the piazza, and it looked like Dante’s Inferno,” said Agostino Severo, a Rome resident visiting Illica. “People crying for help, help. Rescue workers arrived after one hour… one and a half hours.”
Shocking before and after pictures show how Italian towns have been completely destroyed by the devastating earthquake