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Dozens More Feared Dead After Earthquake Hits Italy, Killing At Least 38

Kaitlan Collins White House Correspondent
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Rescuers are searching for survivors after an earthquake struck Italy early Wednesday, killing at least 38 people and leaving dozens more injured.

(Photo: FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)

(Photo: FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)

A woman holds a dog in her arms as she walks with a man next to the rubble of buildings in Amatrice on August 24, 2016 after a powerful earthquake rocked central Italy. The earthquake left 38 people dead and the total is likely to rise, the country's civil protection unit said in the first official death toll. Scores of buildings were reduced to dusty piles of masonry in communities close to the epicentre of the pre-dawn quake in a remote area straddling the regions of Umbria, Marche and Lazio. (Photo: FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)

(Photo: FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)

A 6.2-magnitude earthquake hit at 3:36 a.m. and was followed by a 5.5-magnitude aftershock at 4:33 a.m.

Umbria, Lazio and Marche were the towns that were hit the hardest, but the shake could be felt “as far away as Bologna in the north and Naples in the south,” the New York Times reports.

Italian officials said the ground continued to reverberate throughout the night.

People stand in front of a damaged church in Amatrice on August 24, 2016 after a powerful earthquake rocked central Italy. The earthquake left 38 people dead and the total is likely to rise, the country's civil protection unit said in the first official death toll. Scores of buildings were reduced to dusty piles of masonry in communities close to the epicentre of the quake, which had a magnitude of between 6.0 and 6.2, according to monitors. (Photo: FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)

(Photo: FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)

Rescuers carry a man on a stretcher after a strong earthquake hit central Italy, in Arquata del Tronto on August 24, 2016. A powerful 6.2-magnitude earthquake devastated mountain villages in central Italy on August 24, 2016, leaving at least 18 people dead and dozens more injured or unaccounted for. Scores of buildings were reduced to dusty piles of masonry in communities close to the epicentre of the pre-dawn quake in a remote area straddling the regions of Umbria, Marche and Lazio. (Photo: FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)

(Photo: FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)

(Photo: FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)

(Photo: FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)

Authorities said they could hear the cries of people who were lodged underneath the rubble, but lacked the heavy equipment needed to move the large rocks, USA Today reports. They fear the death toll will climb because dozens more people are missing.

“Half the town no longer exists,” the mayor of Amatrice, Sergio Pirozzi, said. “The historic center of the town, with buildings dating to the Middle Ages, had been destroyed.

(Photo: FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)

(Photo: FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)

Rescuers help a woman among damaged buildings after a strong earthquake hit central Italy, in Amatrice on August 24, 2016. A powerful 6.2-magnitude earthquake devastated mountain villages in central Italy on Wednesday, leaving at least 18 people dead and dozens more injured or unaccounted for. Scores of buildings were reduced to dusty piles of masonry in communities close to the epicentre of the pre-dawn quake in a remote area straddling the regions of Umbria, Marche and Lazio. (Photo: FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)

(Photo: FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)

Rescuers carry the body of a victim next to the rubble of buildings in Amatrice on August 24, 2016 after a powerful earthquake rocked central Italy. The earthquake left 38 people dead and the total is likely to rise, the country's civil protection unit said in the first official death toll. Scores of buildings were reduced to dusty piles of masonry in communities close to the epicentre of the quake, which had a magnitude of between 6.0 and 6.2, according to monitors. (Photo: FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)

(Photo: FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)

A man sits on top of rubble in Amatrice on August 24, 2016 after a powerful earthquake rocked central Italy. The earthquake left 38 people dead and the total is likely to rise, the country's civil protection unit said in the first official death toll. Scores of buildings were reduced to dusty piles of masonry in communities close to the epicentre of the pre-dawn quake in a remote area straddling the regions of Umbria, Marche and Lazio. (Photo: FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)

(Photo: FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)

Pirozzi added that rescuers are searching through rubble “hoping that most people were alive.”

“The problem is removing people from under the rubble.”

Rescuers and firemen inspect the rubble of buildings in Amatrice on August 24, 2016 after a powerful earthquake rocked central Italy. The earthquake left 38 people dead and the total is likely to rise, the country's civil protection unit said in the first official death toll. Scores of buildings were reduced to dusty piles of masonry in communities close to the epicentre of the pre-dawn quake in a remote area straddling the regions of Umbria, Marche and Lazio. (Photo: FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)

(Photo: FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)

Amatrice, a city voted last year as one of Italy’s most beautiful historic towns, was destroyed by the earthquake.

“It’s all young people here,” Giancarlo, an Amatrice resident who was sitting in the road wearing only underwear, told Reuters. “It’s holiday season, the town festival was to have been held the day after tomorrow so lots of people came for that.”

“It’s terrible, I’m 65-years-old and I have never experienced anything like this. Small tremors, yes, but nothing this big.”

“This is a catastrophe.”

More details to come.