A deadly earthquake hit Central Italy on Monday, killing at least 150 people and leaving as many as 50,000 homeless.

It was the worst earthquake in almost three decades, the death toll was likely to rise further as more rescue workers were deployed.

The 6.3 magnitude earthquake occurred at 3:32 a.m. local time and had its epicenter about 60 miles from Rome. More than 10,000 buildings were damaged or destroyed and more than 1,500 people had been injured.

I was awakened by violent shaking and flake of paint falling from our ceiling, then a crack opened in the wall behind my bed. My husband, my daughters who live upstairs and my grandchildren all ran from the house and we spent the night outside.” ,said Rosella Neroni, a 66-yeal old woman , who lives in Teramo.

We will work for the next 48 hours without any stop, because we have to save lives , we estimate that hundreds of people could still be alive under the buildings, it was a race to save those people. , said Francesco Rocca, the head of Italy's Red Cross.

The Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi declared a state of emergency and called off a scheduled trip to Russia. I want to say something important: no one will be abandoned to their fate, he told reporters.

There are about 4,000 hotel rooms, for 10,000 people being prepared and 4,000 rescue workers have been deployed to the scene, the Prime Minister told at a press conference.

The Benchmark S&P/MIB index fell 1.8 percent to 16,601 in Milan. That was the largest decline among Europe’s five biggest stock market and Insurance companies were the biggest decliners.