Friday 30 September 2016

Italian earthquake death toll rises to 278

Published 26/08/2016 | 05:26

A bell tower is wrapped in a cloud of dust moments after an aftershock in Amatrice, central Italy (AP)
A bell tower is wrapped in a cloud of dust moments after an aftershock in Amatrice, central Italy (AP)
Firefighters comb through the debris of a collapsed house in Amatrice (Italian Firefighters Vigili del Fuoco/AP)
Rescuers stand among debris at the bell tower of Amatrice (AP)

The death toll in central Italy's devastating earthquake has risen to 278, authorities said.

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Civil protection officials gave the updated toll at a briefing on Friday afternoon, adding that 238 other people caught up in the quake were rescued.

The death toll in the Arquata area of the earthquake zone has stabilised, with 49 dead coming from the region.

Firefighting official Bruno Frattasi said there are no more people there unaccounted for, and efforts were now focusing on making sure all the dead were returned to their loved ones.

The situation remains more uncertain in the Amatrice area, where the vast majority of the earthquake victims have come from.

The mayor estimates at least 15 more people remain unaccounted for there.

Romania said at least 21 of its citizens are still missing in the earthquake zone.

Press Association

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