Emergency services struggle to reach hotel hit by an avalanche after a series of strong earthquakes hit central Italy.
ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION Emergency rescue teams battled heavy snow fall on Thursday (January 19) to reach hotel hit by an avalanche in the Abruzzo region after a series of strong earthquakes hit central Italy on Wednesday (January 18), an area devastated by deadly tremors last year. There were 20 people plus staff at the hotel, regional president Luciano D'Alfonso wrote on Facebook. Local media reported three people were feared missing. Twenty firemen, two mountain search and rescue teams, six ambulances and local police were heading for the site but were blocked by fallen trees and heavy snow. Rescue teams had to use their alpine skies to continue and were filmed 1 kilometre away from the hotel at Rigopiano, according to the Guardia di Finanza. The U.S. Geological Survey said the three strongest earthquakes, with magnitudes of 5.3, 5.7 and 5.6, all struck in the space of an hour.