Italy was struck by four strong earthquakes on Wednesday 18 January. The reports on damage and death tolls have been slow to emerge as the central part of Italy is snow-bound and weather conditions are harsh. The military was sent out to assist with earthquake assessment and search and rescue.

Italy damage reports include hotel avalanche

Italian News Agency ANSA reported that a hotel was hit by an avalanche after the quakes. The hotel which is in the Pescara province of the Abruzzo region of central Italy is reported to be covered in snow. News Com AU quoted provincial president Antonio Di Marco as saying “there seem to be victims, but it all needs to be confirmed.

There were 20 guests in the hotel.”

Earthquake victims and death toll in central Italy

Quake victims include one person who died after part of a building collapsed in the town of Castel Castagno, in the Teramo province. He was reported to be an 83-year-old farmer. In another sad incident, a man in Ortolano was swept away in an avalanche according to a report in the Bangladesh News who cited ANSA.

Update on rescue efforts and earthquake victim reports - italy

Mr. Ceriscioli working with civil defense workers who met in Marche to plan emergency response said that the winter conditions are making it very difficult to assess the full situation. "The lack of electricity causes serious problems to thousands of families who don't know where to go or to stay," he said and he pointed out that the top priority is to locate people and get them to a safe and warm place.

AFP reported that the people who experienced the quakes were terrified. The four strongest quakes came inside of four hours on Wednesday. Farmer Nello Patrizi told AFP that in his area, south of Amatrice where the main epicenter occurred, that “It was an apocalyptic shock. We were petrified.” The subsequent earthquakes were so bad, You had the impression everything was collapsing, people were screaming.

It was a terrible thing. “

Many people were unable to get out of their houses due to the snow, which could be hiding a lot of damage. Those who have been rescued from the area moved into a tented camp set up on a sports ground. Across the region, thousands of people are without electricity and the winter weather is bitter.

Aftershocks and earthquake details in Italy

The Italian Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology recorded that the region experienced more than 200 tremors above magnitude 2 on Wednesday. The first quake and three subsequent ones were very shallow, which can be devastating for the damage they inflict. A few miles outside of Amatrice where the first quake struck, the epicenter was only 9kms deep. That heavy tremor was registered as a 5.3 quake. The second followed about 50 minutes later and that was even stronger at 5.4. Then there was another 5.3 and hours later a 5.1 occurred. The region in Italy is still recovering from a huge earthquake that happened last year in August. That earthquake’s death toll was over 200 people and damage left thousands of people without shelter.

This is a developing story and updates will be reported as more news comes in.