Engineers are rushing to clear roadblocks caused by landslides after an earthquake hit central Italy earlier today.
According to Italy’s fire service Vigili del Fuoco, a magnitude 6.2 earthquake hit Umbria in central Italy at 03.33 this morning, with initial reports saying at least 21 people have died. This morning the number has risen to more than 240.
There are concerns about the stability of major pieces of infrastructure in the region, with landslides and blocked roads hampering the rescue effort.
The epicentre was in the Rieti area. The photo below shows an aerial shot the town of Amatrice, where some of the worst damage is reported to have occurred. According to local media reports, the town’s mayor Sergio Pirozzi said “half the town has gone”, with the roads in and out of town cut off and concerns a bridge might collapse.
Source: Vigili del Fuoco
In a statement Vigili del Fuoco said: “Rescuers have encountered considerable difficulty in reaching accumulations due to landslides that have disrupted transportation routes.”
Specialist teams are now working to clear the roads blocked by boulders and debris.