Rome: A massive earthquake in Italy today destroyed a several towns and villages by trapping people under building debris and killing at least 38 persons with several others still missing.
The 6.2 magnitude earthquake rattled the region overnight, reducing buildings to rubble and leaving most residents terrified and panicked.
The epicentre of the quake was in Norcia in Umbria, about 105 miles north-east of Rome, while the hardest-hit towns reportedly were Amatrice, Accumoli and Pescara del Tronto.
Much of the town of Amatrice was reduced to rubble and a family of four were feared dead in nearby Accumoli.
Two boys aged four and seven were pulled out alive from the debris of the house they had been staying in with their grandmother.
The earthquake struck at a shallow depth of 10 km, its intensity was compared to the April 2009 Aquila earthquake in which at least 309 persons died. The epicentre was around Accumoli where several persons died.