A string of historical mountain towns and charming villages turned into ruins after a strong earthquake struck central Italy on Wednesday. The disaster reduced three-quarters of Accumoli, Amatrice, Pescara del Tronto and Arquata del Tronto to rubble, leaving the rescue workers to comb through the mountains of debris hoping to find the survivors who might be buried underneath.
The deadly 6.2-magnitude earthquake claimed at least 250 lives while scores of people are still missing. Over 1,000 people have lost their homes and all their belongings. Italy's Civil Protection agency said they had to move the residents out of the devastated town for the fear of toppling buildings and violent aftershocks.
“No one will be left alone, no family, no community, no neighborhood,” vowed Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. “We must get down to work ... to restore hope to this area which has been so badly hit.”
Before and after images from these wrecked towns and village reveal the true extent of the damage. Here’s what some of the places used to look like before the devastation struck:
A clock tower in the center of Amatrice
Arquata del Tronto north of Amatrice in Marche
A street in Amatrice
Accumoli di Rieti in central Italy
A residential building near Accumoli central square
Another view of the Amatrice clock tower
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Remo Casilli