Aftershocks rattle Italy as national mourning begins

2016-08-27 08:55
This aerial photo shows the earthquake-decimated historical area of Amatrice, Italy. (AP)

This aerial photo shows the earthquake-decimated historical area of Amatrice, Italy. (AP)

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Ascoli Piceno - Residents of an Italian region devastated by an earthquake were rattled by a series of aftershocks overnight, the strongest measuring 4.2, as Italy began a day of national mourning on Saturday.

The national mourning will include a state funeral for some of the victims in Ascoli Piceno to be attended by Premier Matteo Renzi and President Sergio Mattarella.

Ahead of the funeral, caskets were lined up in a gym where mourners have been bidding farewell to loved ones, kneeling, crying and placing their hands on flower-covered caskets.

The quake that struck before dawn on Wednesday killed at least 281 people and injured 387.

Most of the deaths occurred in the medieval hilltop town of Amatrice, which was destroyed in the quake and where 221 people died. There were 11 deaths in nearby Accumoli and 49 in Arquata del Tronto, about 16 kilometres north of Amatrice.

Saturday's aftershock, at 04:50, had a magnitude of 4.2, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, while the Italian geophysics institute measured it at 4.

Many of the people left homeless by the quake have been spending their nights in tent cities where volunteers have been working to make sure they have basic amenities.

Read more on:    italy  |  earthquakes

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