But one striking image that is calmer than the others shows a nun with blood on her face. The woman is sitting on the ground in front of a blanket and a ladder as she checks her cellphone.
The magnitude-6.2 earthquake struck at 3:36 a.m. local time as most residents slept inside their homes.
Tremors were felt as far away as the capital city of Rome, located more than 100 miles away from the quake's epicenter.
In the town of Amatrice, the damage was so extensive that its mayor told The Associated Press, "The town isn't here anymore."
The death toll has reached 159.