Page last updated at 17:03 GMT, Monday, 6 April 2009 18:03 UK

In pictures: Italy earthquake

Nuns walk past a destroyed house in the Italian town of Onna after a quake on 7 April, 2009.

A strong earthquake has struck central Italy, claiming many lives.

Buildings in the medieval town of L'Aquila, 95km (60 miles) from Rome, were destroyed by the 6.3-magnitude quake.

Buildings in the medieval town of L'Aquila, 95km (60 miles) from Rome, were destroyed by the 6.3-magnitude quake.

Recordings on a seismic drum show when the earthquake struck central Italy on 7 April, 2009.

Italy's earthquake monitoring agency recorded the quake and its aftershocks.

A survivor is removed by rescuers from a damaged building

Hundreds of injured survivors were taken to the local hospital, where doctors treated patients in the open air as only one operating theatre was functioning.

Rescuers in L'Aquila search for survivors

Rescuers are searching for survivors amid the rubble.

Man on phone with ruined buildings in background

Experts said the historic town had many old buildings which were not strong enough to withstand the quake. Much of the old town centre was damaged.

Striking in the middle of the night, the 30-second quake sparked panic as residents fled into the streets.

Striking in the middle of the night, the 30-second quake sparked panic as residents fled into the streets.

Ruined church tower behind survivors

Rescue officials have warned of a difficult night ahead, as thousands of people forced out of their damaged homes will need to be given temporary shelter.

Thousands may have been made homeless. A university dormitory, churches and a bell tower are believed to be among the buildings that collapsed.

Thousands may have been made homeless. A university dormitory, churches and a bell tower are believed to be among the buildings that collapsed.

Two elderly women recover at a tent city set up after the earthquake in central Italy on 7 April, 2009.

A tent city was set up to house those who were made homeless.

Car hangs over a crater in the road

The quake is also said to have cut phone and power lines and done damage elsewhere in the mountainous Abruzzo region.

Damaged house

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has declared a state of emergency and cancelled a planned trip to Moscow.



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