State of emergency declared in Italy – hopes for more survivors fade

Italy has declared a state of emergency in the regions worst hit by Wednesday’s earthquake as hopes of finding more survivors fade.

Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has pledged €50m (£42m) in funds for rebuilding.

At least 267 people are now known to have died and 400 were injured. Teams have continued to search the rubble of toppled buildings for a second night.

More than 200 people died in Amatrice alone.

 

However, hundreds of aftershocks have hampered the efforts of the 5,000 rescuers.

Another magnitude-4.7 tremor struck early on Friday.

In addition to the funds, Mr Renzi cancelled taxes for residents and announced a new initiative, “Italian Homes”, to tackle criticism over shoddy construction. But he also said that it was “absurd” to think that Italy could build completely quake-proof buildings.

Amatrice earthquake
Whole buildings in Amatrice were flattened

It follows criticism in the Italian press over building standards in high-risk areas. Some of the buildings that collapsed had recently been renovated.

Historic towns do not have to conform to anti-quake building regulations, which are also often not applied when new buildings are put up.

earthquake Italy
Residents in the town have been sleeping in a gymnasium

It seems unlikely too that this ancient little place, that has stood for centuries, can ever be rebuilt. Hundreds of years of history ended in an instant.

 

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