Earthquake Hits Central Italy, at Least 37 Dead
A strong earthquake shook central Italy early Wednesday causing extensive damage to areas near the epicenter and killing at least 37 people.
The U.S. Geological Survey put the magnitude at 6.2 with an epicenter about 10 kilometers southeast of the town of Norcia. The shaking was felt across a large part of the region, including the capital, Rome, 150 kilometers away.
The quake struck just after 3:30 a.m. and was followed by multiple aftershocks. The hardest-hit areas included the towns of Amatrice and Accumoli. Amatrice Mayor Sergio Pirozzi told state-run broadcaster RAI a large portion of the town was destroyed.
Rescuers worked after daybreak to try to reach those trapped in the rubble of collapsed buildings.
Turkey Targets Islamic State, Kurds Along Syrian Border
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said a military operation launched Wednesday in northern Syria targeted Islamic State fighters and Syrian Kurds in an effort to put an end to terror threats at the border.
Turkey considers the U.S.-backed Kurds in Syria aligned with Kurds in southeastern Turkey who have waged a decades-long insurgency against the government. Wednesday's operation included artillery fire and Turkish jets conducting airstrikes backed by other warplanes from the U.S.-led coalition that has been targeting Islamic State for about two years. A number of Turkish tanks were also seen taking part in the fighting on the Syrian side of the border as they tried to push the militants out of the town of Jarablus.
Syria's Foreign Ministry condemned Turkey's actions as a violation of its sovereignty.
The operation comes a day after Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Turkey would give "every kind" of support to fighting Islamic State in the area around Jarablus. On Monday, the government vowed to "cleanse" Islamic State following a suicide bombing in nearby Gaziantep.