At least 30 people, including guests and staff, were believed to be at the Hotel Rigopiano on the lower slopes of the Gran Sasso mountain when the avalanche hit after three tremors hit central Italy on Wednesday.
The USGS said the epicentre of the quakes was 5 to 7 km from Amatrice. Trains have been suspended in central Italy while the Metro and schools in Rome and Rieti have been evacuated.
Amatrice town council says the Charlie Hebdo cartoons "amount to a macabre, tactless and inconceivable insult to the victims of a natural catastrophe".
Mayor of Amatrice, one of the worst-hit areas, says "three quarters of the town is gone" as reports of widespread damage come in.
Subscribe to our Youtube channel for all latest in-depth, on the ground reporting from around the world.
Copyright © 2021 TRT World.