AP Photo/Sandro Perozzi

Italy pastor on earthquake: God is here in "difficult times"

Wed 24 Aug 2016
By Hannah Tooley

A pastor in Rome says that God is carrying the people of Italy "through difficult times" after at least 247 people were killed in an earthquake. 

Pastor Dave Hodgson from Rome Baptist Church told Premier God is there in times of tragedy.

He was speaking after a strong earthquake struck central Italy, collapsing homes on top of residents as they slept.

At least eleven people have been reported dead in two hard-hit towns, where rescue crews are trying to dig out survivors from the rubble.

AP Photo/Sandro Perozzi


Massimo Percossi/ANSA via AP


Pastor Dave Hodgson said: "I'm praying that in this people will realise the importance of life, and that there's nothing to be counted on.

"We have no guarantees of tomorrow, but we do have guarantees that God is going to be there, and he will be there to carry us through these difficult times."

The magnitude 6 quake struck at 3.36am local time and was felt across a large part of central Italy, including the capital, Rome, where residents felt a long swaying followed by aftershocks.

AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino


Pastor Dave Hodgson said he is praying for "safety for those who're moving the rubble, and safety for those who are under the rubble".

"There's of course prayer that all of that will take place as safely as possible for all of those involved, praying for their challenges of arriving there - these are old roads, mountainous roads, some of them have been damaged," he said.

Massimo Percossi/ANSA via AP


The hardest-hit towns were Amatrice and Accumoli near Rieti, some 80 miles north-east of Rome, though the quake was felt beyond the Lazio region into Umbria and Le Marche on the Adriatic coast.

Amatrice was one area that was almost fully razed, mayor Sergio Pirozzi said: "The town isn't here anymore."

The office of the Prime Minister Matteo Renzi tweeted that heavy equipment was on its way.

Listen to Premier's Hannah Tooley speak to Pastor Dave Hodgson here: 

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