Video – At least four large earthquakes in a four-hour period strike the snow-covered region of Amatrice.
The president of Italy’s Marche region, Luca Ceriscioli, described today’s powerful earthquakes as a “catastrophe” and appealed for help.
“The lack of electricity causes serious problems to thousands of families who don’t know where to go or to stay,” said Ceriscioli. More than 130,000 homes are without electricity.
To add to their woes, central Italy had endured a 36 hours of extreme snowfall prior to the quakes and was suffering exceptional cold.
Parts of the region are covered with more than 8 feet (2.5 m) of snow and many remote hamlets were already cut off by the snow with fallen trees blocking snowplows.
Some of the earthquakes were felt as far away as Florence and Rome, where the underground metro system was shut as a safety precaution.
Thanks to Dean Koehler, Caroline Snyder and Ron de Haan for these links
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