Italy Earthquake: Casualties reported as earthquake strikes central Italy (photos)

10:44 Aug. 24, 2016

Casualties reported as earthquake strikes central Italy (photos)

Rescuers search for survivors through the rubble of collapsed buildings following an earthquake, in Amatrice, Italy, Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016 (AP photo)

At least 13 people died, authorities warn the number is likely to rise

A magnitude 6.2 earthquake has struck central Italy, leaving at least 13 people dead and others trapped under rubble, BBC reported on Wednesday.

"Half the town is gone," said the mayor of Amatrice, one of the worst areas affected, where several people died and rescue efforts are underway to find survivors.

A family of four were feared dead in the rubble of their house in the nearby town of Accumoli.

The quake hit at 03:36 (01:36 GMT), 100km north-east of Rome, at a shallow depth of 10km. Some buildings in the capital shook for 20 seconds.

Officials warned the number of fatalities is likely to rise. The head of the civil protection department compared the earthquake's intensity to Aquila in April 2009 in which 309 people died.

Italian authorities warned of the risks of aftershocks in the area in the coming hours.

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