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Strong Earthquake Hits Central Italy, Killing At Least 38

Italian Rescuers Search For Survivors After Deadly Quake
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WATCH: Italian Rescuers Search For Survivors After Deadly Quake

A strong earthquake has hit central Italy, killing at least 38 people as officials said they expected the death toll to rise.

Italy's Civil Protection Agency said "there were still many people missing" as rescue teams continued to search through debris in hard-hit towns.

The 6.2-magnitude earthquake struck early on August 24, causing extensive damage to the towns of Accumoli, Amatrice, Posta and Arquata del Tronto.

The quake was felt in Rome and was centered near L'Aquila, where a 5.9-magnitude quake killed 309 people seven years ago.

"The roads in and out of town are cut off. Half the town is gone," Sergio Pirozzi, mayor of Amatrice, told RAI state television. "There are people under the rubble...There's been a landslide and a bridge might collapse."

There were many reports of damage in the mountainous, sparsely populated area.

Curcio said the latest seismic event was "severe" and "comparable" to the L'Aquila earthquake in its intensity, but was likely less deadly because it took place in an area that is less densely populated.

Based on reporting by AP, Reuters, and dpa