Italy earthquake: Emergency declared as death toll reaches 268

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Italy has declared a state of emergency in the regions worst affected by Wednesday’s earthquake, which killed at least 268 people.

The magnitude-6.2 quake struck at 03:36 (01:36 GMT) in central Italy, 100km north-east of Rome. Some of the worst affected towns, including Amatrice, Arquata, Accumoli and Pescara del Tronto, are usually sparsely populated, but swell with tourists in the summer months.

At least 268 people are known to have died, with 400 more injured, and hopes of finding any further survivors is fading quickly.

Hundreds of aftershocks, including a magnitude-4.7 tremor on Friday morning, have hampered rescue efforts in the mountainous region.

Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has pledged €50m (£42m) to help rebuild the towns and infrastructure damaged in the quake. He also cancelled taxes for local residents and launched a new “Italian Homes” initiative to address problems with poor building construction.

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