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By Steve Scherer and Gabriele Pileri AMATRICE, Italy (Reuters) - The death toll from a devastating earthquake in central Italy rose to at least 247 people early on Thursday after rescue teams worked through the night to try to find survivors under the rubble of flattened towns. The provisional death toll has jumped to 247, from the 159 listed on Wednesday night, the Civil Protection department said. "I haven't slept much because I was really afraid," said 70-year-old Arturo Onesi from the town of Arquata del Tronto, who spent the night in a tent camp for survivors and rescue workers.
The death toll from a powerful earthquake in central Italy rose to 247 on Thursday amid fears many more corpses would be found in the rubble of devastated mountain villages. Monica, a survivor from the tourist town of Amatrice, told of her numbed response when a 4.5-magnitude aftershock rattled the area just after 5.00 a.m. (0300 GMT). "If we don't get help, l'Arquata is finished," said Aleandro Petrucci, the mayor of Arquata del Tronto, which accounted for 57 of the confirmed deaths to date.