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Italy avalanche: Death toll rises as more bodies found

The avalanche on Wednesday destroyed Hotel Rigopiano in the Abruzzo region. Credit: AP / CNSAS

The death toll from last week's devastating avalanche that buried a hotel in Italy has increased to 16 after the discovery of six more bodies.

Thirteen people remained unaccounted for almost a week on from last Wednesday's disaster, which devastated Hotel Rigopiano in the eastern Abruzzo region.

Nine people had been pulled out alive from the rubble, the last one early on Saturday.

All four children who were in the hotel at the time survived and pictures have emerged of their dramatic rescue.

Prosecutors are investigating whether a series of missed communications, underestimations of risks and delays in responding to days of heavy snowfall contributed to the toll from the avalanche.

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Moment survivors are pulled out of avalanche hotel

This is the moment a child was rescued from a hotel in Italy that was buried by an avalanche two days ago.

Eight people, including two children, have been found alive at the Hotel Rigopiano in the central Abruzzo region.

It was feared no one would be saved after two bodies were found on Thursday and at least 20 others are still missing as the rescue operation continues.

A woman being pulled out of the snow-covered hotel by firefighters. Credit: Italian Firefighters/ ANSA/ AP

Trio of earthquakes strike central Italy

Three earthquakes have shaken central Italy Credit: United States Geological Survey

A series of three earthquakes shook central Italy, including Rome, on Wednesday.

A 5.3-magnitude quake first struck shortly after 10am local time, 65 miles northeast of the capital and just five miles from Amatrice - a town flattened by a powerful tremor last August.

Within an hour, a 5.7-earthquake hit a similar distance from Rome, forcing the city's Metro to be evacuated.

Not long after a third quake measuring 5.3 some 68 miles northeast of Rome was also felt.

Nearly 300 people were killed when the mountainous Amatrice region was shaken by three quakes last summer, causing significant damage to older buildings.

Antonio Tajani, an Italian politician, said tremors were "felt as far as Rome (but it) appears there are no victims."

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