Italy: 'Many dead' as avalanche strikes Abruzzo hotel
Rescuers race against time to rescue trapped guests after desperate 'We are freezing to death' text
Andreas Solaro/AFP/Getty Images
Italy earthquake: 'Three Britons among the dead'
Three Britons were killed in the 6.2-magnitude earthquake in central Italy this week, an official from the small mountain town of Amatrice, told the BBC.
While their identities have not yet been confirmed, the Daily Mirror reports they include a 14-year-old schoolboy who was holidaying in the area with his parents and sister.
"His mum and dad were seriously injured and taken to different hospitals by rescue teams, but have now been reunited," adds the newspaper.
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has confirmed that British embassy staff in Italy are providing support to "a number" of British nationals affected. He said he had also spoken to his Italian counterpart, Paolo Gentiloni, to "offer support and condolences following the terrible loss of life".
Amatrice was one of the worst affected areas and has reported the most fatalities. Rescuers are continuing to search for bodies in the aftermath of the powerful tremor, but a 4.6-magnitude aftershock this morning caused more damage to crumbled buildings.
The death toll from the earthquake has today risen to 267, with 367 reportedly in hospital. Survivors, meanwhile, are trying to come to terms with the devastation.
"People like myself have lost everything, but at the same time the fact that we have survived means we have to move forward one minute at a time," said Alessandra Cioni, who managed to crawl out of her crumpled house in the nearby village of Cascello after the quake.
"We have been saved, not like half the people in this place who have lost their lives."
Italy earthquake: Death toll reaches 247, with many still trapped
The death toll in the Italian earthquake has reached 247, with dozens of people still believed to be trapped underneath rubble and hundreds left injured.
Many children were among those who died in the 6.2-magnitude tremor, which hit 65 miles north-east of Rome in the early hours of Wednesday.
There were cheers in the village of Pescara del Tronto last night when a young girl was pulled alive from the rubble after being trapped for 17 hours.
However, in nearby Arquata, victims included 18-month-old Marisol Piermarini, who was killed when her family home collapsed. Her mother, Martina Turco, had moved to the area in search of a safer place to live after their home in L'Aquila was destroyed in the deadly 2009 earthquake there, reports Italian news agency Ansa.
With entire villages flattened and larger towns seriously damage, thousands have now been left homeless. The towns of Amatrice and Accumoli were among the worst affected.
Many were forced to spend the night in hastily-assembled tents.
Pope Francis has been praying with survivors and dispatched six firefighters from the Vatican's small fire brigade to help in the rescue effort.
"Having heard the mayor of Amatrice say the town no longer exists and learning that there are children among the dead, I am deeply saddened," he told crowds gathered in St Peter's Square.
Earthquake in central Italy leaves at least 37 dead
A magnitude 6.2 earthquake struck central Italy this morning, leaving at least 37 people dead and many more trapped beneath the rubble of fallen buildings.
The shallow quake struck 47 miles south-east of the city of Perugia at about 3.30am and was felt across a broad area of Italy, including the capital, Rome, more than 80 miles away, where people "felt a long swaying followed by aftershocks", reports the Daily Telegraph.
The US Geological Survey put the magnitude at 6.2, with the epicenter at Norcia, about 105 miles north-west of Rome. The European Mediterranean Seismology Centre placed it at a slightly lower magnitude of 6.1.
Sergio Perozzi, the mayor of Amatrice, which experienced some of the worst damage, told state-run RAI Radio 1 the town was entirely without power and he was unable to contact emergency responders.
"What can I tell you? It's a tragedy," he said. "Half the town is gone. There are people under the rubble... There's been a landslide and a bridge might collapse."
Italy's Civil Protection agency called the earthquake "severe".
"It was so strong. It seemed the bed was walking across the room by itself with us on it," Lina Mercantini of Ceselli, Umbria, told Reuters.
Italy is often hit by earthquakes. In 2012, two tremors ten days apart killed 30 people and left 14,000 homeless, while in 2009, an earthquake in the Aquila region, which registered a magnitude of 6.3, left more than 300 people dead.