Dramatic pictures show devastation of Italian avalanche

An avalanche, likely triggered by an earthquake, has buried a hotel in the Italian region of Abruzzo, leaving at least 30 people missing. A series of earthquakes hit the region Wednesday, including one with a 5.7 magnitude. Local residents alerted emergency services after the hotel's roof partly collapsed. But rescue efforts were hindered by a snowstorm which blocked access to the hotel. Pictures showed rescuers shovelling their way through a wall of snow, and at least one man being led through the cleared path. Image: AP Video from the rescue team also showed huge piles of filthy snow and debris piled up inside the hotel's corridors, having slammed through the outer walls of the building. Italian police and firefighters posted pictures and video of the hotel completely buried in the snow: This is what the Rigopiano looked like before the avalanche: On Tuesday, before the earthquakes, the hotel had posted photos of the snowfall on its Facebook page. The snow gives us spectacular scenes," it said. Here's a promotional video posted on the hotel's page: Rescuers said at least 20 tourists and seven staff had been inside the Rigopiano hotel when it was hit by the avalanche. The Associated Press contributed reporting.

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Image: vigili del fuoco/twitter

An avalanche, likely triggered by an earthquake, has buried a hotel in the Italian region of Abruzzo, leaving at least 30 people missing.

Rescuers have worked relentlessly to reach the four-star Hotel Rigopiano, close to Gran Sasso mountain.

A series of earthquakes hit the region Wednesday, including one with a 5.7 magnitude.

Local residents alerted emergency services after the hotel’s roof partly collapsed. But rescue efforts were hindered by a snowstorm which blocked access to the hotel.

Pictures showed rescuers shovelling their way through a wall of snow, and at least one man being led through the cleared path.

Image: AP

Other images showed rescuers entering the hotel, with piles of snow and rubble…

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