CATASTROPHIC

Italian Earthquake Death Toll Approaches 250

The 6.2-magnitude earthquake that hit central Italy early Wednesday morning has killed at least 247 people, rescue officials say. That number is expected to rise as search operations continue throughout the day. Overnight, people were slowly pulled out from the rubble of their homes in the villages and towns east of Rome. The quake hit around 3:30 a.m. local time, destroying entire towns while their residents slept. The death toll on Wednesday jumped from an initial 2, to 73, to 120, to 159, to 247. More aftershocks, measuring about 5.1 and 5.4, hit the area early Thursday morning. “I haven’t slept much because I was really afraid,” a man who spent the night in a tent camp for survivors told Reuters.