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April 6, 2009
Earthquake in Italy
L'AQUILA, Italy (AP) -- A powerful earthquake in mountainous central Italy knocked down whole blocks of buildings early Monday as residents slept, killing more than 70 people in the country's deadliest quake in nearly three decades, officials said. Tens of thousands were homeless and 1,500 were injured. Ambulances screamed through the medieval city L'Aquila as firefighters with dogs worked feverishly to reach people trapped in fallen buildings, including a dormitory where half a dozen university students were believed still inside. Outside the half-collapsed building, tearful young people huddled together, wrapped in blankets, some still in their slippers after being roused from sleep by the quake. Dozens managed to escape as the walls fell around them. L'Aquila, capital of the Abruzzo region, was near the epicenter about 70 miles northeast of Rome. (29 images)  updated 6:30 p.m., April 6

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Police, volunteers and rescuers work on a collapsed house on April 6, 2009 in the center of the Abruzzo capital L'Aquila, the epicenter of an earthquake measuring 5.8-magnitude on the open-ended Richter scale. At least 27 people were killed in an earthquake that struck central Italy as most people lay sleeping early on April 6, and the death toll was rising steadily after many homes collapsed in the Abruzzo region. AFP / Getty Images / Vincenzo Pinto


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Two men hug each other as people and volunteers stand amidst debris in the city of L'Aquila, after a strong earthquake rocked central Italy early Monday, April 6, 2009. A powerful earthquake struck central Italy early Monday, killing at least 16 people, collapsing buildings and leaving thousands of people homeless, officials and news reports said. Officials said the death toll was likely to rise as rescue crews made their way through the debris. AP / Pier Paolo Cito



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Rescuers carry a stretcher in the village of Onna, central Italy, Monday, April 6, 2009. A powerful earthquake in mountainous central Italy knocked down whole blocks of buildings early Monday as residents slept, killing at least 50 people and trapping many more, officials said. AP / Sandro Perozzi



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Rescuers at work following a strong earthquake, in the village of Onna, central Italy, Monday, April 6, 2009. A powerful earthquake in mountainous central Italy knocked down whole blocks of buildings early Monday as residents slept, killing at least 50 people and trapping many more, officials said. The earthquake's epicenter was about 70 miles (110 kilometers) northeast of Rome near the medieval city of L'Aquila. It struck at 3:32 a.m. local time (0132 GMT, EDT Sunday) in a quake-prone region that has had at least nine smaller jolts since the beginning of April. AP / Sandro Perozzi



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Cars are covered with debris and rubble following a strong earthquake, in the village of Onna, central Italy, Monday, April 6, 2009. A powerful earthquake in mountainous central Italy knocked down whole blocks of buildings early Monday as residents slept, killing at least 50 people and trapping many more, officials said. The earthquake's epicenter was about 70 miles (110 kilometers) northeast of Rome near the medieval city of L'Aquila. It struck at 3:32 a.m. local time (0132 GMT, EDT Sunday) in a quake-prone region that has had at least nine smaller jolts since the beginning of April. AP / Sandro Perozzi



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A doctors unpacks a rescue pack beside a collapsed building in the centre of L'Aquila on April 6, 2009. A powerful earthquake tore through central Italy devastating historic mountain towns and killing at least 40 people, authorities said. AFP / Getty Images / Filippo Monteforte



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Antonello Colangeli reacts as rescuers work to remove his son Giulio from the rubbles, in the city of L'Aquila, after a strong earthquake rocked central Italy, early Monday, April 6, 2009. A powerful earthquake struck central Italy early Monday, killing at least 20 people, collapsing buildings and leaving thousands of people homeless, officials and news reports said. AP / Pier Paolo Cito



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Giulio Colangeli is carried away by rescuers as his father Antonello, center, grey hair, reacts, in the city of L'Aquila, after a strong earthquake rocked central Italy, early Monday, April 6, 2009. A powerful earthquake struck central Italy early Monday, killing at least 20 people, collapsing buildings and leaving thousands of people homeless, officials and news reports said. AP / Pier Paolo Cito



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A couple stand in rubble in rubble on April 6, 2009 in the center of the Abruzzo capital L'Aquila, the epicenter of an earthquake measuring 5.8-magnitude on the open-ended Richter scale. At least 20 people were killed in an earthquake that struck central Italy as most people lay sleeping early on April 6, and the death toll was rising steadily after many homes collapsed in the Abruzzo region. AFP / Getty Images / Vincenzo Pinto



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Rescue workers look for survivors in the ruins of a collapsed house on April 6, 2009 in the center of the Abruzzo capital L'Aquila, the epicenter of an earthquake measuring 5.8-magnitude on the open-ended Richter scale. At least 20 people were killed in an earthquake that struck central Italy as most people lay sleeping early on April 6, and the death toll was rising steadily after many homes collapsed in the Abruzzo region. AFP / Getty Images / Filippo Monteforte



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Rescuers search April 6 for trapped people under the ruins of a collapsed house in the center of the Abruzzo capital L'Aquila, the epicenter of an earthquake measuring 5.8-magnitude on the open-ended Richter scale. At least 20 people were killed in an earthquake that struck central Italy as most people lay sleeping early on April 6, and the death toll was rising steadily after many homes collapsed in the Abruzzo region. AFP / Getty Images / Vincenzo Pinto



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A woman receives assistance in the city of L'Aquila, after a strong earthquake rocked central Italy early Monday, April 6, 2009. A powerful earthquake struck central Italy early Monday, killing at least 16 people, collapsing buildings and leaving thousands of people homeless, officials and news reports said. Officials said the death toll was likely to rise as rescue crews made their way through the debris. AP / Pier Paolo Cito



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Fireworkers rescue a student from the student's house in L'Aquila on April 6, 2009. A powerful earthquake jolted central Italy on Monday, devastating mountain towns and killing at least 27 people, authorities said. Emergency services scrambled to rescue people trapped under thousands of collapsed homes and buildings in the Abruzzo capital L'Aquila and nearby towns in the Apennine mountains that run down central Italy. AFP / Getty Images / Vincenzo Pinto



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Police officers comfort residents on April 6, 2009 in the center of the Abruzzo capital L'Aquila, the epicenter of an earthquake measuring 5.8-magnitude on the open-ended Richter scale. At least 20 people were killed in an earthquake that struck central Italy as most people lay sleeping early on April 6, and the death toll was rising steadily after many homes collapsed in the Abruzzo region. AFP / Getty Images / Filippo Monteforte



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Luigi d'Andrea, 20, collects belongings in his destroyed appartment in D'Aquila, 110 km from Rome on April 6, 2009 following an earthquake measuring 5.8-magnitude on the open-ended Richter scale. At least 27 people were killed in an earthquake that struck central Italy as most people lay sleeping early on April 6, and the death toll was rising steadily after many homes collapsed in the Abruzzo region. AFP / Getty Images / Christophe Simon



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Patients are treated outside the St.Salvatore Hospital, in L'Aquila, central Italy, Monday, April 6, 2009. A powerful earthquake struck central Italy early Monday, killing at least 20 people, causing entire blocks of buildings to collapse as residents slept inside and leaving thousands of people homeless, officials said. Parts of L'Aquila's main hospital was evacuated because it was at risk of collapse, forcing the wounded to be treated in the open air or taken elsewhere. AP / Gregorio Borgia



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Patients are treated outside the St. Salvatore Hospital, in L'Aquila, central Italy, Monday, April 6, 2009. A powerful earthquake struck central Italy early Monday, killing at least 20 people, causing entire blocks of buildings to collapse as residents slept inside and leaving thousands of people homeless, officials said. Parts of L'Aquila's main hospital were evacuated because they were at risk of collapse, forcing the wounded to be treated in the open air or taken elsewhere. AP / Gregorio Borgia



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Patients are treated outside St. Salvatore Hospital, in L'Aquila, central Italy, Monday, April 6, 2009. A powerful earthquake struck central Italy early Monday, killing at least 20 people, causing entire blocks of buildings to collapse as residents slept inside and leaving thousands of people homeless, officials said. Parts of L'Aquila's main hospital were evacuated because they were at risk of collapse, forcing the wounded to be treated in the open air or taken elsewhere. AP / Gregorio Borgia



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Patients are treated outside the St. Salvatore Hospital, in L'Aquila, central Italy, Monday, April 6, 2009. A powerful earthquake struck central Italy early Monday, killing at least 20 people, causing entire blocks of buildings to collapse as residents slept inside and leaving thousands of people homeless, officials said. Parts of L'Aquila's main hospital was evacuated because it was at risk of collapse, forcing the wounded to be treated in the open air or taken elsewhere. AP / Gregorio Borgia



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Patients are treated outside the St.Salvatore Hospital, in L'Aquila, central Italy, Monday, April 6, 2009. A powerful earthquake struck central Italy early Monday, killing at least 20 people, causing entire blocks of buildings to collapse as residents slept inside and leaving thousands of people homeless, officials said. Parts of L'Aquila's main hospital was evacuated because it was at risk of collapse, forcing the wounded to be treated in the open air or taken elsewhere. AP / Gregorio Borgia



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Relatives stand near coffins in Onna, in central Italy, on April 6, 2009 after a powerful earthquake tore through central Italy killing at least 92 people. More than 1,700 rescuers scrambled to find victims trapped under collapsed dwellings in L'Aquila, the quake's epicentre, some 10 km from Onna. Officials warned the toll would rise. AFP / Getty Images / Vincenzo Pinto



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Photo released by the Italian Guardia Forestale (Forestry Police Force) showing an aerial view of the destruction in the city of L'Aquila, central Italy, Monday, April 6, 2009. A powerful earthquake in mountainous central Italy knocked down whole blocks of buildings early Monday as residents slept, killing more than 90 people in the country's deadliest quake in nearly three decades, officials said. Tens of thousands were homeless and 1,500 were injured. AP / Guardia Forestale / handout



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Rescue workers search for bodies amongst the rubble of a destroyed building on April 6, 2009 in L'Aquila, Italy. The 6.3 magnitude earthquake tore through central Italy, devastating historic mountain towns, killing at least 90 people and injuring some 1500. Getty Images / Marco Di Lauro



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A view of a damaged house in the village of Castelnuovo, central Italy, following a strong earthquake, Monday, April 6, 2009. A powerful earthquake in mountainous central Italy knocked down whole blocks of buildings early Monday as residents slept, killing more than 70 people in the country's deadliest quake in nearly three decades, officials said. Tens of thousands were homeless and 1,500 were injured. AP / Alessandro Tarantino



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A building is damaged after an earthquake on April 6, 2009 in L'Aquila, Italy. The 6.3 magnitude earthquake tore through central Italy, devastating historic mountain towns, killing at least 150 people and injuring 1500. Getty Images / Marco Di Lauro



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Rescue workers search for trapped people on a damaged building after an earthquake on April 6, 2009 in L'Aquila, Italy. The 6.3 magnitude earthquake tore through central Italy, devastating historic mountain towns, killing at least 150 people and injuring 1500. Getty Images / Marco Di Lauro



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People evacuated from their homes, protect themselves from the rain with a blanket, in the Abruzzo capital L'aquila, epicentre of an earthquake earlier in the day on April 6, 2009. A violent earthquake jolted central Italy killing at least 100 people and injuring 1,500 as buildings and homes in the walled medieval town of L'Aquila were reduced to rubble. AFP / Getty Images / Mario Laporta



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People line up for food in the tent-camp set up after a major earthquake in L 'Aquila central Italy, Monday, April 6, 2009. A powerful earthquake in mountainous central Italy knocked down whole blocks of buildings early Monday as residents slept, killing more than 100 people in the country's deadliest quake in nearly three decades, officials said. Tens of thousands were homeless and 1,500 were injured. AP / Pier Paolo Cito



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A child is comforted by a red cross rescuer in a refugee camp setup just outside the Abruzzo capital L'aquila, epicentre of an earthquake earlier in the day on April 6, 2009. A violent earthquake jolted central Italy killing at least 100 people and injuring 1,500 as buildings and homes in the walled medieval town of L'Aquila were reduced to rubble. AFP / Getty Images / Filippo Monteforte



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