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As night fell in Italy’s Apennine Mountains on Thursday, prospects dimmed of finding survivors of an avalanche that had swept over a small resort hotel the previous night. At least 30 people were missing, according to the authorities.

The avalanche occurred after four earthquakes struck central Italy, which has been hit hard in recent months.

Giampiero Parete, a cook at the Rigopiano hotel and one of the two known survivors, had gone out to get something from his car when the avalanche struck. His wife and two young children remained inside and are among the missing.

Quintino Marcella, a restaurateur, told the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera that he had received a frantic call for help from Mr. Parete on Wednesday night.

Mr. Parete told him that the hotel had been wiped out: “The hotel isn’t here anymore, it’s not here,” Mr. Marcella told the newspaper. He said that the guests had been waiting for a snow plow to clear the roads. “All the guests had their bags packed and were waiting to leave,” he said.



As many as 30 people were reported missing at the hotel.
Alpine and Speleological Rescue Team, via Agence France-Presse — Getty Images



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