Scores of people were killed and tens of thousands left homeless in central Italy today after a powerful earthquake shook a mountain region, severely damaging a historic city and leaving hundreds feared trapped in rubble. At least 92 people were known to have died, the Italian news agency Ansa reported, quoting local rescue workers, while the Red Cross said it faced a "race" to rescue those still trapped. More than 1500 people had been injured, the Italian prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, told a press conference in L'Aquila, the badly damaged capital of the Abruzzo region, close to the quake's epicentre. Berlusconi declared a state of emergency, calling off a scheduled trip to Russia to co-ordinate the government's response. "I want to say something important: no one will be abandoned to their fate," he told reporters. The 6.3-magnitude tremor, which struck at 3.32am local time (2.32am BST), was the country's deadliest since the Irpinia quake in the south in November 1980, which killed more than 2500 people. More than 1000 rescue workers were this afternoon scrambling to reach those trapped in collapsed buildings. "We will work for the next 48 hours without any stop, because we have to save lives," Francesco Rocca, the head of Italy's Red Cross, told BBC television. "We estimate that hundreds of people could still be alive under the buildings." It was now "a race" to save those trapped, he added. Up to 50000 people may have been left homeless by this morning's quake, a <b>...</b>
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