ROME: At least 10 people are feared dead after a powerful earthquake struck central Italy in the early hours of Wednesday, according to officials cited by local media.
The national civil protection agency said it could not give an official toll as rescue efforts were still under way.
Deaths were reported in three villages in a mountainous area straddling the regions of Lazio and Marche: Amatrice, Accumoli and Arquata del Tronto.
“The situation is dramatic, there are many dead. I cannot give a toll for now because rescue efforts are under way and it is very, very difficult,” said Amatrice mayor Sergio Pirozzi.
According to local officials, two people have been confirmed dead at Arquata, five at Amatrice and two in Accumoli with a number of people unaccounted for in all three locations. AFP