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.