Italy mourns quake victims as funerals held
Authorities take provisional death toll to 278
Flags are flying at half-mast across Italy on Saturday as funeral ceremonies for many of those killed by Wednesday’s devastating earthquake take place.
State-run news agency ANSA said Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and President Sergio Mattarella will be present at a funeral ceremony in the town of Ascoli Piceno, near Pescara del Tronto and would later visit other locations affected by the quake.
A 6.2-magnitude earthquake shook the mountain villages of Amatrice, Accumoli and Arquata del Tronto early Wednesday morning. Italy’s Civil Protection Department took the provisional death toll to 278 on Friday.
Italy’s cabinet decreed a state of emergency on Friday and has disbursed an initial 50 million euros [$56 million] to help quake-hit areas.