At least 247 killed in earthquake in central Italy

Saletta, Italy (CNN)[Breaking news update, posted at 12:30 a.m. ET on August 25]

At least 247 people were killed after a 6.2-magnitude earthquake struck central Italy Wednesday, according to Italy’s Civil Protection Department.
    [Previous story, posted at 10:16 p.m. ET on August 24]
    In the small Italian towns hit hard by a magnitude-6.2 earthquake that struck in the middle of the night, rescuers feverishly dug through the rubble of downed homes and apartments looking for survivors.
    In one such rescue, shown on CNN affiliate Sky TG24, a firefighter in Amatrice clawed at the rubble, trying to get to a little girl.
    He pulled back bricks and other debris as his co-workers and other men leaned in.
    Suddenly there was a foot, and leg, then the other leg.

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    President Barack Obama called Mattarella on Wednesday to offer US assistance.
    The leaders of France, Germany and Russia all expressed their sympathy over the disaster, while the Italian Voluntary Blood Association made an appeal for people to donate blood to help treat those affected.
    Italy is no stranger to deadly quakes.
    In May 2012, a pair of earthquakes killed dozens of people in northern Italy, while in April 2009, a magnitude-6.3 earthquake hit in the Aquila region of central Italy, killing 295. The earthquake Wednesday struck an area close to the 2009 earthquake.
    Are you in Italy? Are you affected by the earthquake? If it’s safe for you to do so, WhatsApp us on +44 7435 939 154 to share your photos, experiences and video. Please tag #CNNiReport in your message.

    Source: http://edition.cnn.com/

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