Rescuers work following an earthquake in Pescara del Tronto, central Italy, August 24, 2016. REUTERS/Adamo Di Loreto
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An earthquake flattened towns in central Italy in the early hours of Wednesday, killing at least 120 people and burying some alive in their sleep, with volunteers and firefighters racing to free those trapped under mounds of rubble as darkness fell.The quake razed mountain homes and buckled roads in a cluster of communities some 140 kilometers east of Rome. Aerial photographs showed whole areas of Amatrice, last year voted one of Italy's most beautiful historic towns, flattened by the 6.2 magnitude quake.All three regions are dotted with centuries-old buildings susceptible to earthquakes.The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake struck near the Umbrian city of Norcia. INGV reported 150 aftershocks in the 12 hours following the initial quake, the strongest measuring 5.5 .The last major earthquake to hit the country struck the central city of L'Aquila in 2009, killing more than 300 people.
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