Italy earthquake latest news: Death toll rises to 247 as Amatrice mayor says town is decimated - live updates

An estimated 1 in 10 residents of the town of Amatrice have died, its mayor says. 'Our heart is broken, but it will be resurrected'

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The Independent Online

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The death toll from the earthquake in central Italy has risen to 247, authorities say, more than 24 hours after it struck destroying towns and villages in Umbria, Lazio and Le Marche.

The magnitude 6.2 quake struck at 3:36am on Wednesday and was felt across a broad swath of central Italy, including Rome, where residents woke to a long swaying followed by aftershocks.

Dozens of people were pulled out alive by rescue teams and volunteers that poured in from around Italy. 

In the evening, about 17 hours after the quake struck, firefighters pulled a 10-year-old girl alive from the rubble in Pescara del Tronto. 

"You can hear something under here. Quiet, quiet," one rescue worker said, before soon urging her on: "Come on, Giulia, come on, Giulia." 

Cheers broke out when she was pulled out.

"Unfortunately, 90 percent we pull out are dead, but some make it, that's why we are here," said Christian Bianchetti, a volunteer from Rieti who was working in devastated Amatrice where flood lights were set up so the rescue could continue through the night. 

Premier Matteo Renzi visited the zone Wednesday, greeted rescue teams and survivors, and pledged that "No family, no city, no hamlet will be left behind." Italy's civil protection agency reported the death toll had risen to 247 early Thursday; at least 368 others were injured.