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Toward the end of August, disaster struck when a 6.2 magnitude earthquake shook the central Italian towns of Amatrice, Accumoli and Arquata del Tronto. Although the Mediterranean Peninsula is no stranger to earthquakes, the last occurrence took place back in 2012 when a pair of tremors hit the northern region of Italy. One of equal magnitude struck a different portion of the central region prior to that in 2009. Both instances left copious amounts of damage in their wake, claiming the lives of well over 300 civilians combined.

Image: Getty Images
Image: Getty Images

The three quiet, mountainous provinces served as tourist getaways, becoming a place of refuge for those looking to escape the unbearable summer city heat.

Image: Getty Images
Image: Getty Images

Amatrice was anticipating large crowds to flock to its enclave in time for its annual celebration surrounding its famed bacon and tomato sauce, the Festival of the Spaghetti all’Amatriciana.

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Image: Getty Images
Image: Getty Images

The 2016 celebration would’ve marked the 50th anniversary of the beloved pasta dish, so popular that it had even been awarded an official Italian postage stamp back in 2008.

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