At least 120 are dead after a massive earthquake hit central Italy overnight.
The town of Amatrice, about 100 miles from Rome, has been leveled. Many are feared dead.
The mayor of the town stated, “The town is no more. I have an appeal to make: we have access roads to the town cut off and people under the rubble, help us.”
The Telegraph UK reported that, “The shallow quake, estimated to have struck after 3:30am at a depth of 6 miles, was felt across a broad section of central Italy, including the capital Rome where people in homes in the historic centre felt a long swaying followed by aftershocks.”
CNN was in touch with an American who is visiting Italy,
“Charlotte Smith, coach of Elon University women’s basketball team in North Carolina, was in Rome with her players when the quake hit.”
“It lasted for at least 30 seconds. The entire hotel was shaking,” she said. “I went down to the lobby and there were a lot of people waiting there. … Then an earthquake happened 30 minutes later.”
Another American, Michael Gilroy, described the quake,
“It felt like the bed was on rollers.”
“It was initially very confusing. I’m from California and had a sense of what it may be. And we ran out to the main area and the chandelier was swaying back and forth. At that point, we knew we had to get out of the building as fast as we can.”
Authorities are having difficulty reaching those who are trapped under rubble as many of the affected areas are out of the way, and they lack heavy equipment to dig with.
— Eric J. Lyman (@EricJLyman) August 24, 2016
Up to 80 aftershocks have been recorded, with the largest being a 5.5.
The death toll is expected to rise exponentially as many buildings in Italy have not been retrofitted to withstand quakes.
— Sky News Australia (@SkyNewsAust) August 24, 2016
In this video you can see police searching for survivors.
— Ayar Romeo (@AyarAlrami) August 24, 2016
Pope Francis is asking for people to pray for Italy.
Those who experienced the quake began posting pictures of the damage to social media. Below are a few.
This is a developing story.