'Half the town is gone,' says Amatrice mayor as Italy quake toll hits 37
13:15, Wednesday, 24 August, 2016
A powerful earthquake has rocked Italy overnight killing at least 37 people including two children and burying many more as they slept. The 6.2-magnitude quake at around 3.30am local time was so powerful it rocked buildings in the centre of Rome more than 100 miles away and was felt across Italy. Survivors have described 'apocalyptic' scenes in towns and villages near the city of Perugia - the capital of the tourist-packed Umbrian region, which is especially popular with British holidaymakers. At least 37 are feared dead in the earthquake after people were crushed by falling buildings or suffocated by the rubble - rescuers have pulled out several from the ruins but can still hear voices from below. Its epicentre was in Norcia in Umbria, about 105 miles north east of Rome, while the hardest-hit towns were reported as Amatrice, Accumoli and Pescara del Tronto. Falling bridges and landslides mean some areas are still cut off with emergency teams can only get there on foot. The mayor of Accumoli, Stefano Petrucci, said this morning: 'My town isn't here anymore' as people were carried out of ruined buildings on stretchers and people desperately searched the debris for survivors or sobbed as they inspected their own ruined homes. The first victims of the devastating quake were an elderly couple whose home collapsed in Pescara del Tronto, in the Marche region, around ten miles from the epicentre. A family of four, including a eight-month-old baby and his brother, nine, were also reported dead in the town of Accumoli. Two brothers, aged four and seven, were pulled from the rubble nearby after hiding under a bed with their grandmother as the building fell down. Some 100 people were still unaccounted for in the village of Arquata del Tronto.