Tragedy In Italy: 30 People Killed After Avalanche Hits Hotel Rigopiano In The Abruzzo Region
Some very sad news reaching us from the mountains of Central Italy.
Abruzzo, the mountainous region of Central Italy, was hit by four earthquakes on Wednesday with further tremors reported overnight.
An avalanche, caused by the seismic activity, hit the Hotel Rigopiano close to the Gran Sasso mountain. Rescuers have battled throughout the night to reach the hotel, where it is believed up to 30 people have lost their lives. Antonio Crocetta, the head of a mountain rescue team, has said "There are many deaths."
Local residents in Farindola alerted emergency services when the avalanche resulted in the hotel roof partially collapsing. A heavy snowstorm and the consequential blocked routes meant rescuers faced a desperate struggle to reach the hotel.
Italian media has reported that the first rescuers arrived at the hotel on skis at 04:00 this morning (03:00 GMT). It is thought that at least 20 tourists and seven staff were inside the Rigopiano when the avalanche struck.
The region was hit by an earthquake on the 24th of August 2016; resulting in the deaths of 298 people.
Our thoughts are with the family and friends of those affected.