Italian officials say quake death toll hits 247

, Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

AMATRICE, Italy (AP) —  Italian authorities say that the death toll from Wednesday’s earthquake in the central part of the country has risen to 247.

The civil protection agency gave the updated figure early Thursday, about 27 hours after the earthquake struck. The tremors reduced three towns to rubble and sparked urgent search efforts.

Rescuers make their way through destroyed houses following an earthquake in Pescara Del Tronto, central Italy, Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016. The magnitude 6 quake struck Wednesday at 3:36 a.m. (0136 GMT) and was felt across a broad swath of central Italy, including Rome where residents of the capital felt a long swaying followed by aftershocks. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
Rescuers make their way through destroyed houses following an earthquake in Pescara Del Tronto, central Italy, Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

Residents in a central Italian region devastated by an earthquake have been jolted awake by a strong aftershock.

The U.S. Geological Survey put its magnitude at 4.7 with the epicenter about 7 kilometers east of Norcia, with a relatively shallow depth of 10 kilometers (6 miles). The latest temblor struck at about 5:40 am Thursday.

Norcia, which is about 170 kilometers (105 miles) northwest of Rome, was the epicenter of Wednesday morning’s 6.2 earthquake that leveled the central Italian towns of Amatrice, Accumoli and Pescara del Tronto, and killed at least 159 people.

Romania’s foreign ministry says two Romanians have died, and eight are missing after the earthquake in Italy. Ministry spokesman Ionut Valcu said Thursday that four Romanians were being treated for injuries in hospitals He did not provide details on the identity of those who died or were injured.

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