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Avalanche Hits Mountain Resort In Italy, 30 Trapped

PHOTOGRAPH: Twitter/Charlo Malta | People are still missing as an avalanche struck a ski resort in Italy last Thursday. Photo Credit: Twitter/Charlo Malta

A huge avalanche hit the Rigiopiano Hotel in Farindola, Italy, on Thursday.  Two bodies were reportedly removed from the rubble, as rescuers search for more survivors.  A number of earthquakes and terrible weather conditions, however, have hindered them to search for more.  They revealed that they are still about 30 people trapped inside.  But, the rescuers heard nothing, not even a cry for help, from the flattened four-star mountain resort.  The sniffer dogs have not located any of the victims, too.  The two people who survived happened to be outside of the hotel when the avalanche hit.

About four earthquakes with a magnitude of 5 and above hit Central Italy on Wednesday.  The aftershocks came all throughout the night.  The earthquake also intensified the already bad weather, resulting in heavy snow and freezing temperatures.  The phone lines have also been down and villages are without electricity, reports BBC.  It is unclear, however, if the earthquakes caused the avalanche, says seismologist Gianluca Valensise.  

Emergency responders said that the avalanche caused a wing of the hotel facing the mountain to collapse.  As a result, it rotated off its foundation and pushed it further downhill, according to The New York Times.  That side, which included the kitchen, hotel rooms, and hall, was completely destroyed, says Marshall Lorenzo Gagliardi of the Alpine rescue service.  

People are still missing, death toll may rise

The La Stampa Newspaper made a list of the missing person, and it included 23 names.  Three are children at the age of 6, 7, and 9.  The oldest casualty, according to the reports is a man of 60.  There are seven missing people from Marche, a neighboring region.  Several earthquakes have hit Central Italy since August.  About 300 residents reportedly died in August.  Since then, it destroyed many homes and livelihood.

Also Read: Italy Rocked By Another Earthquake

Also Read:  Italy Earthquake 2016: Oct. 30 Quake Kills 300, Destroys Buildings

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About the author

An avid reader, traveler, and earth enthusiast, Rubelle has two permanent roles: a daughter and a wife. But she wants to be a mother too. For the meantime, she works for Red Cross and writes articles for Morning Ledger to keep her busy.