Devastating earthquake brings up legal questions in Italy

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Italy Earthquake Aftermath

Officials have begun investigating building code violations in central Italy where an earthquake turned structures into rubble earlier this week.

The 6.2 magnitude quake killed at least 290 people, most of them from the small city of Amatrice. Citizens and authorities are still searching the ruins for victims.

But the fact that the earthquake caused so many structures to collapse has many questioning whether the area's buildings were up to code.

Buildings in Italy are sometimes more than 100 years old and not always up to seismic standards.

SEE ALSO: A newly discovered fault line could put 100 million people in danger

But prosecutors are also looking into the possibility that some property owners altered the structures of their homes without bringing them up to code. Special attention will reportedly be paid to a bell tower restored in 2009 and an elementary school renovated to withstand earthquakes in 2012.

And while Italy might have the physical resources to renovate the century-old buildings, the hold up often comes down to money.

Voice of America quoted one man saying its "impossible or prohibitively expensive to make changes within the regulations that are drawn up by the government in Rome."

See photos from the devastating earthquake:

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Powerful earthquakes strikes central Myanmar
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Powerful earthquakes strikes central Myanmar
This photo provided by David Greco/@daveinosaka, shows a damaged temple in Bagan, Myanmar, on Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016. A powerful earthquake measuring a magnitude 6.8 shook central Myanmar on Wednesday, damaging scores of ancient Buddhist pagodas in the former capital of Bagan, a major tourist attraction, officials said. (David Greco/@daveinosaka via AP)
People stand in the street after they rushed out of their offices following tremors in Kolkata, India, Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016. A powerful earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.8 shook central Myanmar on Wednesday, knocking glasses off tables and sending people running out of buildings in the country's largest city.The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake was centered about 25 kilometers (15 miles) west of Chauk, an area west of the ancient capital of Bagan. (AP Photo/Bikas Das)
People stand outdoors after they rushed out of their offices following tremors in Kolkata, India, Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016. A powerful earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.8 shook central Myanmar on Wednesday, knocking glasses off tables and sending people running out of buildings in the country's largest city.The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake was centered about 25 kilometers (15 miles) west of Chauk, an area west of the ancient capital of Bagan. (AP Photo/Bikas Das)
People stand outdoors after they rushed pout of their offices following tremors in Kolkata, India, Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016. Officials say a powerful earthquake measuring a preliminary magnitude of 6.8 has shaken central Myanmar.(AP Photo/Bikas Das)
People stand outside their offices after they rushed outdoors following tremors in Kolkata, India, Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016. Officials say a powerful earthquake measuring a preliminary magnitude of 6.8 has shaken central Myanmar.(AP Photo/Bikas Das)
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Those that did recently renovate and violate building codes could reportedly face criminal charges. The timing of the investigation has angered some survivors and families still mourning those killed by the quake.

Money isn't the only pillar the towns have to overcome. Corruption also plays a role in a city's ability to move forward.

More specifically, Italian authorities are now tasked with keeping the mafia out of rebuilding efforts.

Italy's national anti-mafia prosecutor told a local newspaper "earthquake reconstruction is a tasty morsel for criminal organizations and committees."

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