A magnitude 6.2 earthquake hit central Italy today.The quake hit at 03:36 (01:36 GMT),100 km (65 miles) in north-east of Rome with at least 38 people reported dead while about 150 are missing.Most of the dead were in Accumoli, close to the epicentre, and a short distance away in Amatrice. Among the victims are an elderly couple and a boy while 20 others have been taken to the hospital. Two boys aged four and seven who stay in with their grandmother were seen been pulled alive from the rubble of the house they had been in.
The Scale of the damage is shown in an aerial view of Amatrice
In the remote village of Peracchia di Acqua Santa Terme a few kilometers to the east,rescuers were seen trying to reach out to survivors ,among those missing were three nuns. The quake's intensity was compared to that of the Aquila earthquake in April 2009 in which 309 people died although it struck at a shallow depth of 10km.
Most buildings shook for 20 seconds in the capital as the quake struck the regional border area of Umbria Lazio and Le Marche. It was felt from Naples in the south to Bologna in the north.
Rescue efforts were underway to find survivors in the town of Amatrice where the worst damage happened including a 58-year-old man who was trapped in his home and several more were missing. The town is popular with holidaymakers and most of the 2,500 people left displaced by the earthquake were said to be visitors.
Italian President Sergio Mattarella described the disaster as "a moment of grief and of appeal to shared responsibility" while Prime Minister Matteo Renzi paid tribute to the volunteers and civil defence officials who had rushed to the scene in the middle of the night and used their bare hands to dig for survivors.