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AMATRICE, Italy — Bedridden Antonio Putini, 97, survived the deadly earthquake in central Italy that devastated several towns and killed 250 people after his son took him and his caretaker to safety at a temporary shelter.
By Putini's side was a white Bishon Maltese belonging to his caretaker, Violeta Bratu.
"It's the only thing of mine here," she said.
Bratu survived a strong earthquake in her native Romania in 1977 that killed 1,500 people when she was just 8 years old. After Wednesday's quake, she arranged to evacuate Putini with his hospital-style bed because their home was deemed uninhabitable.
They sought shelter in a sports center on the edge of Amatrice, where Putini lied under his plaid wood blanket, which Bratu brought from home hoping it would give him some comfort.
"I said without him I am not going anywhere," she recalled sitting next to Putini, who was attached to oxygen.
Thousands were displaced following the powerful quake and slept overnight in tents, school gymnasiums and other temporary shelters. The exact number of dead and missing remained unclear, but local officials said 365 people had been hospitalized.