At least 30 people were trapped in a resort hotel in Italy after an avalanche came through.
Rescuers are currently working to dig people out as fast as possible, according to The Washington Post.
The avalanche occurred in Italy’s central Abruzzo region, where earthquakes also caused devastation this past summer. The avalanche buried the Hotel Rigopiano, which is located high up in the mountains at an elevation of 4,000 feet.
Rescuers were having a difficult time reaching the Hotel, so some used skiis and others were dropped by helicopter. Rescue dogs also helped in the efforts to locate those buried under the snow. A mist also impeded rescue efforts.
Some have died in the avalanche, although no official number has been released.
Those who are still alive and praying to be rescued have been sending text messages to emergency numbers.
“Help, we’re dying of cold,” one couple wrote to rescuers.
One man, Giampaolo Parete, told rescuers that he avoided the avalanche because he was getting something from his car when it hit.
“I saved myself because I’d gone to pick something up from the car,” he said. “The avalanche came and I was buried by snow, but I managed to get out. The car was not buried, so I stayed there and waited for rescue operators.”
Parete’s wife and two children were buried inside the Hotel.
Photo courtesy: Thinkstockphotos.com
Publication date: January 19, 2017