Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Relatives Watch Race to Rescue Italy Quake Survivors; 207 Dead

L'AQUILA, Italy-Relatives of the missing watched agonized Tuesday as rescuers dug desperately by hand for survivors of Italy's devastating earthquake, jarred by a strong aftershock that drove home the continuing danger.The death toll from Italy's worst earthquake in three decades jumped to 207 as bodies were recovered and identified.Lilly Centofanti waited with her mother on the lawn in front of a partially collapsed university dormitory for word of her 19-year-old younger brother, Davide, who lived on the third floor.Centofanti and her mother comforted each other as relatives called the younger woman's cell phone for updates."There's no information,"she kept saying. "We're waiting," she told a reporter."We only know the shocks go on."Rescuers pulled two bodies overnight from the rubble of the four-story dormitory. They ran out, appearing confused, when the 4.9-magnitude aftershock hit at 11:26 a.m.Premier Silvio Berlusconi surveyed the devastated region by helicopter and said the rescue efforts would continue for two more days-after which any of the trapped would have little chance of survival. Fifteeen people were still missing, he said."The rescue efforts will continue for another 48 hours from today until it is certain that there is no one else alive," Berlusconi told reporters.Berlusconi said that at least 100 of the roughly 1,000 injured people were in serious condition. As many as four students could still be inside the dormitory in L'Aquila-a central Italian city of Romanesque, Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance architectural treasures, Berlusconi said.A series of aftershocks have hit of L'Aquila and 26 surrounding towns and cities in the snowcapped Apennine mountains since the quake early Monday, which also left tens of thousands homeless. Tuesday's aftershock appeared strongest around L'Aquila, a city of some 70,000 people.
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As in the days of Noah...

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