Rome (Italy), Aug.25 : The death toll from a powerful earthquake that shook central Italy on Wednesday has risen to 247 on Thursday.
Media reports said that rescuers are desperately searching for survivors in the rubble of devastated mountain villages.
Hundreds of others were injured, some critically, and an unknown number were trapped under the ruins of collapsed buildings after Wednesday's pre-dawn quake.
Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi had earlier warned that the toll could rise after visiting the badly hit village of Amatrice.
The quake had a magnitude of between 6.0 and 6.2. It hit a remote area straddling Umbria, Marche and Lazio at a time of year when second-home owners and other visitors swell the numbers staying there.