- The death toll from the Italy earthquake has continued to rise
- More than 4,300 are working round the clopck to save more lives
- Tents have been set up for shelter as many residential buildings are unstable
As the earthquake that struck central Italy early on Wednesday, August 24 continues to take a toll. Dozens of people are believed to be trapped in the ruins of buildings in the three heavily affected communities of Amatrice, Accumoli and Pescara del Tronto.
More than 4,300 rescuers, working with heavy machinery and their bare hands have been hampered by hundreds of aftershocks since the quake struck.
Rescuers have advised journalists and bystanders to leave Amatrice urgently, as "the town is crumbling", the BBC's Jenny Hill says.
Many of the victims, according to official reports are children, the heaviest death toll being from Amatrice. 184 people died in the community. Another 46 died in Arquata, and 11 in Accumoli. Currently, 264 people are receiving treatment in the hospital.
Monica, a survivor from Amatrice, said: "We are sleeping in the car and there were shocks all night. When the biggest one came, the car started moving and shaking."
Gianni Macerata, the fire officer in charge of rescue operations said after they pulled a dog free from the rubble: "It doesn't matter to us if it's a person or an animal, we save it."
Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi is currently chairing an emergency cabinet meeting, where they are discussing reconstruction plans, even as a tented camp has been set up, since so many buildings are now unsafe.
Late in the evening of Wednesday, August 24, a young girl was pulled alive from the rubble after being trapped for 17 hours in the village of Pescara del Tronto as cheers went all around.
According to BBC, rescuers said they had pulled five bodies from the ruins of the Hotel Roma in Amatrice. Before the quake, about 70 people had been staying at the Hotel.
When the quake initially struck, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the first quake measured 6.2,which said it occurred at a shallow depth of 10 kilometres (six miles).
It measured 6.0 according to Italian monitors. A 5.4-magnitude aftershock followed an hour later. Rescue work began immediately, with Pope Francis interrupting his schedule to issue a statement about the tragedy.