Quake death toll continues to rise

The death toll in the Italian quake has reached 279, including 20 children and teenagers today.

The Italian government also increased the sum allocated for emergency aid to €100m and Premier Berlusconi said quake reconstruction will cost billions.

Strong aftershocks overnight rattled residents – nearly 18,000 of whom are living in tent camps around the stricken region.

An additional 10,000 have been put up in seaside hotels, out of the quake zone, and the Italian railway provided heated sleeping cars at L’Aquila’s main train station, where nearly 700 people spent the night.

Mr Berlusconi said 16 of the dead were children, and of the injured, 100 remained in serious condition.

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