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Third brother pulled from rubble on quake-hit Ischia

22 agosto 2017 | 14.47
LETTURA: 2 minuti

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Photo: AFP

Firemen rescued an 11-year-old boy more than 16 hours after a deadly magnitude 4.0 earthquake destroyed his home on the Italian resort island of Ischia. The boy's two younger brothers were pulled out alive from the rubble of their home earlier on Tuesday.

"Ciro is safe too!", tweeted firemen at 2.15 pm local time.

Ciro's rescue from beneath the rubble of the family's home in the village of Casamicciola came after firemen pulled out his baby brother, seven-month-year-old Pasquale at 4am and seven-year-old Mattia at around midday.

All three brothers were alert when they were rescued but were taken to hospital for checks.

The boys' mother, who is reportedly pregnant, managed to escape through a window when the quake struck while their father was pulled out from beneath masonry soon afterwards.

Italy's premier Paolo Gentiloni congratulated civil protection agency chief Angelo Borrelli and fire chief Bruno Frattasi on the rescue of the three young brothers but said the country was "united in grief" for the victims of the Ischia quake.

"Italy is united in grief and solidarity for the victims. We stand beside those involved in the rescue operations," Gentiloni wrote on Twitter.

At least two people were killed and a third person was in a critical condition while another 39 were injured and some 2,600 were left homeless by the temblor, which hit the volcanic island off Naples just before 9pm on Monday.

It is the height of the tourist season on Ischia, and Italian television showed visitors fleeing bars, hotels and restaurants to take refuge in parks when the undersea quake struck.

Many spooked holidaymakers decided to cut short their vacations and Italian authorities began organising ferries to bring tourists back to the mainland early on Tuesday.

A one-hour ferry ride from Naples, Ischia is popular with German and British tourists and is famed for its thermal waters.

German chancellor Angela Merkel, who has often stayed on Ischia, sent a message to the Italian government expressing her country's "heartfelt closeness to those affected (by the quake) and to rescuers."

Italy's president Sergio Mattarella phoned the mayors of Casamicciola and Ischia's other quake-hit village, Lacco Ameno, to express "his condolences for the victims and solidarity with those affected", saying he would visit "as soon as possible," the Quirinale Palace said in a statement on Tuesday.

The European Union's humanitarian aid commissioner Christos Styilianides tweeted that the EU was "fully ready to help Italy following the earthquake in #Ischia".

Geologists and architects in Italy have blamed illegal building on Ischia for the collapse of residential buildings during the quake, while local mayor have denied this charge.

Some 90 percent of houses in Casamicciola - where 2,000 people have been left homeless - have been constructed illegally on terrain prone to landslides, according to Naples daily Il Mattino.

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