Aftershocks Hamper Rescue Efforts as Italy Toll Hits 281

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 9, 2009 12:41 PM CDT
Aftershocks Hamper Rescue Efforts as Italy Toll Hits 281
Rescue workers remove debris after a major earthquake in L'Aquila, Italy.   (AP Photo)

Aftershocks in the Abruzzo region of Italy this morning, including one with a magnitude of 5.2, hampered ongoing rescue efforts and spooked refugees still in the area, Reuters reports. Officials closed off the center of L’Aquila, where the latest tremors continued to damage the hard-hit town. Though rescuers fear there are no more survivors from Monday’s quake, efforts will continue through Sunday.

The death toll rose to 281 today as more bodies were discovered. The last survivor was rescued late Tuesday. “As long as we know that there are people under the rubble, we will keep searching even if we're sure they’re dead,” a firefighter said. President Giorgio Napolitano toured the destruction and cast a wide net of blame. “Many people were involved in the construction of the buildings that collapsed,” he said. “People need to search their consciences.” (More Italy stories.)

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