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Earthquake in Italy kills 247

An earthquake that struck central Italy yesterday (24th) has killed at least 247 people states the country's civil protection agency. Dozens are believed trapped in ruined Amatrice, Accumoli and Pescara del Tronto, in mountainous central Italy.

Amid scenes of carnage, dozens of emergency services staff and volunteers were determined to attempt to pluck more survivors from the ruins. The search went on through the night, and there was a strong aftershock which rocked already damaged buildings. More than 4,300 rescuers are using heavy lifting equipment and their bare hands. Rescuers had pledged to work through the night in the hope of finding people alive in the mangled wreckage of homes.

The 6.2 magnitude quake, which sent residents fleeing their homes and running into the streets, is Italy's deadliest since a 2009 quake in the same area. It is now feared that yesterday’s quake could claim even more lives than the 2009 one.

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