A magnitude 6.2 earthquake has struck central Italy.
The massive quake hit at 3:36am and was located 100km east of capital city Rome. The quake had a shallow depth of 10km.
At this stage at least 247 people are dead and others trapped under rubble.
Officials warned the number of fatalities was likely to rise. The head of the civil protection department compared the earthquake’s intensity to Aquila in April 2009 in which 309 people died.
Some of the worst damage was in the town of Amatrice, where several people died and rescue efforts were under way to find survivors.