More than 150 killed in Italy earthquake

ROME — The United States Geological Survey is reporting a 6.2 magnitude earthquake in Italy.

The earthquake was centered near Rome.

Scroll down to see photos of the destruction

The USGS expects significant casualties and economic losses from the quake.

The death toll continues to rise, with more than 150 confirmed deaths as of 4:42 p.m. CST.

Two hard-hit towns reported rescue missions, crews racing to dig survivors out of the rubble.

The death toll will likely rise as crews reach homes in more remote areas.

"The town isn't here anymore," Amatrice mayor Sergio Pirozzi said.

The magnitude 6 quake struck at 3:36 a.m. (0136 GMT) and was felt across a broad swath of central Italy, including Rome, where residents felt a long swaying followed by aftershocks. The temblor was felt from the Lazio region into Umbria and Le Marche on the Adriatic coast.

The hardest-hit towns were Amatrice and Accumoli near Rieti, some 100 kilometers (80 miles) northeast of Rome, where the air was thick with dust and smelled strongly of gas. The center of Amatrice was devastated, with entire buildings razed. Rocks and metal tumbled onto the streets and dazed residents huddled in piazzas as some 39 aftershocks continued into the early morning hours, some as strong as 5.1.