The earthquake hit Norcia, a town with a population of about 3,000 people. Buildings collapsed and caused great destruction. Stefano Ftritzi, head of the village said: "The town does not exist anymore. I instructed to open the roads. We have people buried under the rubble. I fear they are dead."
The newspaper La Repubblica reported that rescue teams find it difficult to reach the area due to the collapse of bridges along the way. Italian rescue officials estimated that the disaster could have resulted in hundreds of deaths.
One resident said: "Suddenly I began to shake in my bed. It was very scary. It calmed down and then started shaking again. I ran out of the building. I saw a house collapse near me"
Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nachshon said that no Israeli casualties in the earthquake were reported. Chabad Shakiach in Rome, Rabbi Menachem Lazar said that he does not know of Jews living in the destroyed towns.