Death toll in Italy quake rises to 150

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Rome - The earthquake which hit central Italy on Monday has killed 150 people, injured some 1 500 and left around 70 000 homeless.

Rescuers, who have pulled 100 people alive out of damaged buildings, have estimated that more than 150 people have been killed in the fatal 5.8-magnitude earthquake.

However, by the end of Monday only 98 people had been identified.

The earthquake, centered near L'Aquila which is about 110km northeast of Rome, occurred at 3:32am early Monday.

Some 10 000 to 15 000 buildings were damaged in the earthquake, with some cultural relics also damaged.

Officials said that about 200 aftershocks were registered after the fatal one, the majority of which were of low magnitude. A powerful aftershock occurred at 1:15am on Tuesday.

Some 4 000 rescuers were at work and Italy will have access to the European Union's disaster fund, said Premier Silvio Berlusconi who canceled a trip to Moscow in order to visit the quake-hit area.

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