Rescue Made Despite Aftershocks in Italy

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Strong aftershocks continued to shake Italy, Tuesday, as crews searched through rubble for survivors following an earthquake in the country early Monday morning.

Despite the conditions, rescuers managed to pull a 20-year-old student from a collapsed building.  She had been trapped since the main quake hit about 42 hours earlier.

Rescue and recovery efforts were fully underway when the first reported aftershock --somewhere between a magnitude 5.5 and 5.7-- was felt in L'Aquila and Rome.  The deadly earthquake that leveled buildings and neighborhoods the day before was a magnitude 5.8.

Thousands are hurt and homeless because of the quake and the death toll is still climbing.  By Tuesday evening, the death toll had climbed to 235.

Click play to watch the John Jessup's report.  Also, click here to watch more on the rescue efforts in Italy with David Darg of Operation Blessing.

In the frantic search for survivors, the aftershock make the rescue effort even more difficult and dangerous.

In some cases, workers are finding survivors.  Rescue workers pulled two women from the ruins of this collapsed college dormitory overnight.  But others are still missing.

"There are a lot of people dead," said one witness. "Their are young people. Young people dead."

Quake Came in The Night

The earthquake struck in the middle of the night

"It was like a bomb dropping and the whole house was shaking," said one survivor.

The quake destroyed more than 10,000 buildings in more than 20 cities and forcing thousands out of their homes and into the streets.

The mayor of L'Aquila, located about 70 miles north of Rome where the epicenter hit, said 100,000 people are homeless.

The first night after the quake, survivors slept in tents on the outskirts of town.

"We gave shelter to elderly people and children, while we wait for more tents for everybody," said Paolo Diani, camp coordinator. "And the tents will arrive tomorrow for all the population."

Diani says they did not have enough tents for everyone, so priority was given to the elderly and chiildren. More tents will be available Tuesday night.

History Now in Ruins

Adding insult to injury is the quake's cultural cost.  Many of the buildings that were destroyed were historic, centuries old homes, castles and churches now nothing more than ruins.

Italy's prime minister has pledged tens of millions to rebuild the area.

The outpouring of help has been both big and small is playing out across the world.

One woman was collecting for quake victims on the streets of New York City.

"Would you like to donate something for the people in italy?," she asked passers-by.

"Whenever tragedy happens around the world, you feel it," said New York City business owner David Greco. "But for little Italy, whatever happens in Italy, you feel it a little closer."

And now there are reports that there were warnings about the earthquake as recent as last month, when an Italian seismologist went around town with loudspeakers predicting a large earthquake, but he was reported to police for spreading alarm.

At the time, the agency charged with assessing seismic risks said it found no reason for alarm.

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CBN News
John Jessup

John Jessup

CBN News Washington Correspondent

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