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Italy Declares Emergency As Death Toll From Earthquake Rises To 281

Dust rises from the rubble of the Italian town of Amatrice following an aftershock from a deadly earthquake that has killed hundreds of people.

Italy has declared a state of emergency in areas hit by a strong earthquake that has killed at least 281 people and wounded over 400.

Thousands of rescuers continued efforts to find survivors under the rubble of flattened towns for a second night, but hope of finding survivors is fading.

The 6.2 magnitude earthquake struck early on August 24 northeast of Rome, causing extensive damage to the towns of Accumoli, Amatrice, Posta, and Arquata del Tronto.

Hundreds of aftershocks have hampered the efforts of the 5,000 rescuers, including police, firefighters, army troops, and volunteers who have been combing through rubble for survivors using heavy machinery or their bare hands.

Many people are still believed to be buried under rubble, and many of the missing are foreigners and vacationers visiting the historic region.

In 2009, a 5.9 magnitude quake killed 309 people in L'Aquila.

Based on reporting by AP and AFP