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Weekly wrap-up: Survivors rescued after earthquake-triggered avalanche buries Italian hotel; Flooding overtakes Houston

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The central United States was left reeling after the Ice Storm of 2017 wreaked havoc last weekend.

Multiple crashes occurred due to drivers losing control of their vehicles on the ice-covered roadways, including at least four fatalities, according to Missouri and Oklahoma State Highway Patrol. Two fatal accidents also occurred in Kansas on Saturday, the Kansas Highway Patrol reported.

In the northwestern U.S., nearly 2 inches of ice coated roads in parts of Oregon and Washington this week. Major roads were shut down at times.

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Truck driver Brad Cottle, left, from Florida, surveys the situation with his truck stuck in a ditch with tow truck driver Donny Callahan in Troutdale, Ore., Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)


The same system drenched parts of the West Coast during the middle of the week. Seattle received nearly a month's worth of rain in 36 hours. Parts of California also were hit with rain, including San Francisco and Los Angeles.

In Houston, rain and locally severe thunderstorms created a dangerous flood situation this week. Several inches of standing water on highways left drivers stranded on roadways.


Multiple earthquakes struck Italy this week, including a 5.7 magnitude around 11:30 a.m. local time on Wednesday. In the Abruzzo region, a quake triggered an avalanche that overtook the Hotel Rigopiano. According to the BBC, 20 tourists and seven staff members were in the hotel at the time of the avalanche.

Amid the earthquakes, the region was pounded by heavy snow from a storm that tracked from the Mediterranean Sea to the Balkan Peninsula. Ambulances attempting to reach the hotel were blocked by 6.5 feet (2 meters) of snow, according to The Local.

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A rescue clears snow in front of the Rigopiano Hotel, following an avalanche in Farindola, Italy, early Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017. (Corpo Nazionale Soccorso Alpino e Speleologico/The National Alpine Cliff and Cave Rescue Corps (CNSAS) via AP)


At least three people were killed but many more are feared dead as crews remain unable to account for everyone. However, survivors have been recovered from the rubble, the Local reported.

Twenty four people, including two kids, were killed when a bus crashed on Thursday amid dense fog southeast of New Delhi, India.