Survivors pulled from Italy avalanche

 21 Jan 2017 - 11:46

Survivors pulled from Italy avalanche
A handout picture released on January 20, 2017 by the Vigili del Fuoco shows a child (C) being rescued from the Hotel Rigopiano, near the village of Farindola, on the eastern lower slopes of the Gran Sasso mountain, engulfed by a powerful avalanche a day before. The Hotel Rigopiano has been engulfed by a two-metre (six-feet) high wall of snow. / AFP.


ROME: Local media in Italy reported Friday that eight survivors pulled from an avalanche which hit a hotel were recovering from their ordeal.

The ANSA news agency said the first six people found by rescuers included three men, a woman and two children. The remaining two have not yet been identified.

Many people are still feared to have died after an avalanche hit the Rigopiano hotel in Italy's Gran Sasso mountain in the country’s central Abruzzo region on Thursday.

Fabrizio Curcio, Italy's director general of civil protection, had said there were up to 30 people in the Rigopiano hotel at the time of the avalanche.

There have been four confirmed deaths and a number of people remain missing.

The avalanche is thought to have been caused by an earthquake which shook the mountainous region on Wednesday.

Other counties have expressed their condolences to the Italian people in the wake of the disaster.

Turkey's Foreign Ministry issued a statement on Thursday afternoon extending the country’s condolences to the families of the victims.

"It is with deep sadness that we learned of the earthquake and the avalanche disaster in Italy. We share the grief of the people of Italy, our friend and ally, and want them to know that we stand in solidarity with them," the statement read.

"Turkey stands by Italy’s side in these difficult times and is ready to assist in every possible way if needed. We extend our heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families and wish a speedy recovery to the injured," it added.

Like Italy, much of Turkey is situated in an active earthquake zone. The 1999 Marmara earthquake in northwestern Anatolia took 17,000 lives.

Russian President Vladimir Putin also conveyed his condolences to Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, the Kremlin said on Friday.

"Please accept our deepest condolences for the loss of lives as a result of avalanche in the Abruzzo region. Please convey my sincere sympathies to the families and friends of the victims. May they have courage at this difficult hour," a Russian statement added.