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ROME (AP) - A pre-dawn earthquake has struck fear in Italy. It measured 6.1 and there are reports of damaged buildings and blackouts near the epicenter and residents fleeing their homes and running into the streets. The mayor of Amatrice says residents are buried under debris and that the town "isn't here anymore." The quake struck at 3:30 a.m. and shook a broad section of central Italy, including the capital Rome where people in homes felt a long swaying followed by aftershocks. The U.S. Geological Survey put the magnitude at 6.2.
The mayor, Sergio Pirozzi, told state-run RAI radio and Sky TG24 that he needs heavy equipment to clear rubble-clogged streets to get to the injured. Asked if there were any dead he said: "Look there are houses that aren't here anymore. I hope we get some help."