Italian rescuers have found 10 survivors of an avalanche that buried a mountain hotel.
The night search yielded some results when additional four people were pulled out of the snow, bringing to nine the total rescued.
Workers have reported that they are not relenting and that they will forge on with efforts to get more people freed as 20 are yet to be found.
At least four people died when an avalanche triggered by an earthquake engulfed the Rigopiano hotel, in the Abruzzo region, on Wednesday.
Five survivors were found on Friday – 4 children and 1 woman, reports BBC News.
As they emerged out of the snow hall, the rescuers cheered on in the midst of mixed emotions.
Despite the huge drive and eagerness to rescue more people, the whole process hasn’t been easy due to heavy snow fall that has made the roads inaccessible.
La Stampa, Italian newspaper expressed concerns of the likelihood of more snow falling.
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Rescue Mission Progress
An eight-year-old boy was the first person to be pulled out. He is the son to a holidaymaker, Giampiero Parete, who had gone to his car when the avalanche struck and first sounded the alarm by calling his boss.
The rescuers then pulled out the boy’s mother who told the rescuers that her 6-year-old daughter was still stuck inside.
Her daughter was later on rescued and the whole family reunited at the hospital.
While speaking to Associated Press news agency, the health officials said that despite showing symptoms of hypothermia and dehydration, they were all in good health.
One factor that contributed to their good health is the fact they were all dressed heavily before collapse. “They had ski caps to cover themselves. They remained away from the snow and cold, they were always inside the structure. That’s why the hypothermia wasn’t severe,” said Dr. Dr Rossano di Luzio.
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The hospital has been a host to friends and families of the missing as they desire to get their whereabouts.
In this region that is still battling with heavy snowfall, the Wednesday earthquake of over magnitude 5 resulted in power lost.
Italy avalanche Explained
When the earthquake happened, guests went to the ground floor as they waited to be rescued. However, the whole hotel was covered in snow by about 16:00 GMT on Wednesday.
Some reports suggest that the snow was so powerful that it collapsed the building’s roof and pushed the hotel about 10m from its foundations. It is also reported that the rescuers were dispatched some hours later due to the area being inaccessible. They were even forced to ski and others dropped by helicopters.
Mr Parete, who escaped the deluge when he went to his car to pick up headache tablets for his wife, telephoned his boss, a man named Quintino Marcella, just after 17:30.
He says that he then made an immediate call to the authorities who seemed skeptical. He says that he continuously called for up to 2 hours when they finally told him that help had been dispatched.
After having gone through a freezing night, the first help arrived at 04:30 on Thursday.