Apr 7 2009
Rescuers are continuing to sift through rubble in the hope of finding more survivors of Italy's deadliest earthquake in nearly three decades.
The 6.3-magnitude quake struck before dawn on Monday, leaving at least 150 dead, 1,500 injured and tens of thousands homeless.
It destroyed up to 15,000 buildings in and around the city of L'Aquila, which has a population of 70,000 and lies around 60 miles north-east of Rome.
Firefighters with dogs have been working through the night to reach people trapped in fallen buildings, one of which is a dormitory at the University of L'Aquila where two bodies were pulled from the rubble and where around half a dozen students are believed to be still inside.
Condolences poured in from around the world, with Foreign Secretary David Miliband offering the British government's assistance.
In a statement he said: "The earthquake in L'Aquila had a devastating impact. Our thoughts and condolences are with those who have seen loved ones lost or injured.
"As the full scale of the tragedy becomes clear, the priority must be to provide urgent assistance to those directly affected. We stand ready to do what we can to help the Italian people at this difficult time."
Meanwhile, British scientists are preparing to travel to the scene of the quake in a bid to predict future shocks.
Experts will use the latest technology to study the L'Aquila fault, thought to be the cause of the devastating quake.
Professor Bob Holdsworth, head of the Reactivation Research Group, said a team would use a laser scanner to produce a 3D picture of the fault, radio-dating techniques and computer modelling to gain a better picture of what might happen next.