The death toll from the earthquake in central Italy has grown to more
than 150 as rescue team struggle to reach the survivors under the
Some 1,500 people were injured in the quake that shook the medieval
walled city of L'Aquila Monday. Italian Prime Minister Silvio
Berlusconi promised that no one will be abandoned, saying a tent
village is being set up to accommodate between 16,000 and 20,000 people
from the affected Abruzzo region.
U.S. President Barack Obama sent condolences, as did Pope Benedict, who prayed at the Vatican for the dead and the injured.
Prime Minister Berlusconi canceled a trip to Russia to go to the
stricken region, and Russian President Dmitri Medvedev responded with
an offer of Russian help.
The Italian news agency ANSA said hundreds of people wandered in night
clothes through the devastated streets of L'Aquila 12 hours after the
quake. Others camped in the streets or parking lots alongside the
shrouded bodies of the dead.
ANSA also described desperate families near a local university calling
loved ones on cell phones, in hopes the ringing phones would help
rescuers locate people thought to be buried in the rubble.
Officials say there are thousands of collapsed structures in and around
L'Aquila. Badly damaged buildings are said to include a cathedral, a
church dome and a university dormitory.
U.S. scientists measured the quake at magnitude 6.3, while Italian seismologists measured it at 5.8.
Monday's earthquake occurred about five hours after a 4.6 magnitude quake shook Italy's north central region near Ravenna.