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Italy Declares State of Emergency After Earthquake Horror

epa05510830 Italian Minister of the Interior Angelino Alfano (C) addresses the media during his visit to the earthquake-affected village of Arquata del Tronto, Marche Region, Italy, 26 August 2016, where he visited firefighters and other law enforcement personnel deployed in the wake of the powerful earthquake that has killed hundreds. The emergency rescue system 'withstood' after 24 August's earthquake in central Italy, Alfano said. The rescue operations 'worked to perfection and made a lay miracle happen' in saving 215 lives, Alfano said, calling it 'an incredible result.' The latest provisional death toll from the earthquake in central Italy is of 267 dead, the Civil Protection Department said on 26 August 2016. EPA/CRISTIANO CHIODI

Italy has declared a state of emergency after the earthquake that killed at least 268 people, UK Metro reports.

Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has pledged €50m (£42m) to rebuild homes and declared Saturday a day of national mourning.

A state funeral has also been scheduled which will be attended by the leader.

At least 268 people have died and 400 injured in central Italy following the earthquake on Wednesday that measured 6.2 on the Richter scale.

Teams are continuing to search the rubble for survivors, but more than a day and a half has passed since the last person was found alive.

Civil protection operations chief Immacolata Postiglione insisted today that the rescue effort had not yet switched to a recovery mission.

Walter Milan, a mountain rescue worker, said: ‘There is still hope to find survivors under the rubble, even in these hours.’

But, he added, ‘it will be very unlikely’.

Renzi has cancelled council taxes for residents and launched a new initiative, ‘Italian Homes’, in a bid to tackle the ongoing criticism of shoddy construction.

Flags will fly at half-mast on Saturday on all public offices and a state funeral will be celebrated by a bishop in a gym in Ascoli Piceno for the victims of nearby Arquata del Tronto, where 49 were killed.

The first private funerals were scheduled for today – including one in Pomezia, south of Rome.

Overnight some 2,100 people slept in tent camps, nearly 1,000 more than the first night after Wednesday’s quake.


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