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AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia
World News

Church groups give food and prayer to quake victims

by Hannah Tooley

The US Geological Survey said the aftershock had a preliminary magnitude of 4.7 and Italy's national geological institute put the magnitude at 4.8, saying the 6.28 am tremor on Friday was preceded by more than a dozen weaker aftershocks overnight and followed by another nine in the subsequent hour.

Italian Firefighters Vigili del Fuoco via AP

The quake zone has experienced more than 500 aftershocks so far, since the original quake in the early hours of Wednesday morning. 

Geologists are surveying the damage to find out which buildings are still inhabitable, and Culture Ministry teams are assessing the damage to some of the region's cultural sites, especially its medieval-era churches.

Italian Firefighters Vigili del Fuoco via AP

Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has pledged new money and aid to rebuild the quake-devastated region.

Prayers are also been said for all of those affected by the disaster.

One local priest, Fr Marco, said: "When we learned that the hardest hit place was here, we spoke to our bishop and he encouraged us to come here to comfort the families of the victims.

"They have given us a beautiful example, because their pain did not take away their dignity."

AP Photo/Andrew Medichini

365 people have been taken to hospital and 215 people have been pulled from the rubble alive since the quake struck.

Three British people have been confirmed dead, rescuers are still searching for survivors.

Pietro Evangelista, from Evangelist Media, told Premier's News Hour it is encouraging to hear people are praying for him.

He said people have called up "saying we are praying for you, and that is the best people can do because really Italy needs help from the Lord.

"And I do believe it is a good opportunity for people to know that there is a God."

He also told Premier hope is failing that more people will be found alive: "I don't think - and most of the people and doctors there - don't think there are still people alive.

"Of course we trust God and we pray that that is not true, but it seems there are still people beneath the ruins."

Pietro Evangelista said that many Christian groups are working together to try and support people in need: "The alliance are putting together all these organisations to try and organise something together, to give one answer as a church of the Lord, united."

Listen to Premier's Antony Bushfield speak to Pietro Evangelista here:

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