'A Number Of British Nationals' Affected By Italy Earthquake

A number of Britons have been affected by the devastating earthquake in Italy, the Foreign Office said as the death toll continued to rise.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said extra staff had been sent to the region to help provide support to Britons affected by the "terrible" quake.

The UK Government has offered "any assistance that we can" to the Italian authorities, Mr Johnson said.

He said: "My deepest sympathies are with the Italian people and everyone affected by the terrible earthquake that struck central Italy.

"The British Government has offered any assistance that we can to help with the recovery effort and I have spoken with Italian foreign minister Paolo Gentiloni to express my condolences personally.

"As the scale of the disaster has become clearer we now know that a number of British nationals have been affected.

"British Embassy staff are in the region providing consular support, and we have deployed additional staff to support this effort."

The Foreign Office would not give any information on whether Britons had been injured or killed in the quake, which has claimed the lives of at least 250 people.

Aftershocks have been felt in central Italy as rescue workers continued efforts to find survivors.

A day after the shallow quake levelled three small towns, a 4.3 magnitude aftershock hit the already-devastated settlement of Amatrice.

Firefighters and rescue crews using sniffer dogs have been working in teams around the hardest-hit areas of the country.

"We will work relentlessly until the last person is found, and make sure no one is trapped," said Lorenzo Botti, a rescue team spokesman.