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MOSCOW, January 19. /TASS/. Russia’s Emergencies Ministry has offered Italy to provide its assistance in dealing with the aftermath of a strong earthquake, the head of the ministry, Vladimir Puchkov, told reporters on Thursday.
"We told Italian colleagues about our proposals. They are carrying out a rescue operation at a high level and if there is a special request, we will send rescuers and all specialists," Puchkov said.
The minister recalled that Russian rescuers and special laboratories worked in Italy after another earthquake last year and prepared solutions on reconstructing schools and other important social facilities, including a unique bridge that "was built more than 500 years ago."
On Wednesday evening, central Italy was struck by an avalanche, apparently triggered by the earthquake. Up to 30 people are feared dead after a hotel in the Pescara province was buried by an avalanche, the ANSA news agency reported.
The situation in the region is complicated by bad weather as the mountainous areas of the Central Apennines have been hit by heavy snow over the past days. The rescuers spent several hours to reach the hotel. The helicopters of the rescue services are trying to land near the building.
The meteorologists had warned about the avalanche threat, including in the neighboring Marche region.