Aftershocks Continue Near L’Aquila, Death Toll Raised to 289
The city of L’Aquila can be seen in the valley in the middle of this orthorectified ASAR image of central Italy.
The death toll from the magnitude 6.3 earthquake that struck the region was raised to 289 on Friday morning, reports the BBC.
The Italian government has extended the search for people who could still be alive under the rubble until Sunday; however, rescue workers believe the chances of finding survivors to be remote and so will focus on recovering bodies and assessing the extent of the damage.
Aftershocks are continuing to hamper such rescue efforts. On Thursday evening a tremor measuring 4.9, the fourth-largest since the earthquake, brought down a badly damaged four-storey building in the centre of L’Aquila.
Some 28,000 people have been left homeless by the quake. Meanwhile, President Napolitano has said poor construction is to blame for many of the deaths in Monday’s disaster.
Citing “widespread irresponsibility” in the design and construction of modern buildings, he called for an investigation to find out how it was possible that essential buildings standards had not been applied. Modern buildings that suffered partial or total collapse in the quake include a hospital, city buildings, the provincial seat and university buildings, AFP news agency reports.