A powerful earthquake has rocked Italy overnight killing at least 11 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.
Exclusives Reports Says 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 10 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 Norcia. Falling bridges and landslides mean some areas are still cut off.
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.
A resident of the village said she had been woken by the shaking in time to witness the wall of her bedroom cracking open. She was able to escape into the street with her children.
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 were also reported dead in the town of Accumoli, including two children.