Yesterday they were three charmingly historic towns in central Italy, tracing their heritage back at least as far as the Middle Ages. Then a deadly 6.2 magnitude earthquake struck the region early Wednesday morning, and the streets of Amatrice, Pescara del Tronto and Accumoli are now scenes of devastation.
The powerful quake claimed at least 159 lives in the region and left many other people injured and homeless. Drone footage reveals the scale of the damage, with scattered emergency crews sorting through the wreckage of collapsed buildings.
Recovery efforts are underway, with help from the Italian army, rescue workers and volunteers.
“No one will be left alone, no family, no community, no neighborhood,” vowed Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. “We must get down to work ... to restore hope to this area which has been so badly hit.”
The disaster destroyed three-quarters of Amatrice, Mayor Sergio Pirozzi told state broadcaster RAI. “The aim now is to save as many lives as possible. There are voices under the rubble,” Pirozzi said. “We have to save the people there.”
Take a look at these haunting before-and-after photos of Amatrice, Pescara del Tronto, Accumoli and other affected areas of central Italy: