Hopes of finding more survivors from Italy's powerful earthquake faded, with the death toll rising to 292 on Monday and the rescue operation in some of the stricken areas called off.
Five days after the quake struck the mountainous heart of the country, sniffer dogs and emergency crews continued to scour the town of Amatrice, which was leveled in the disaster, finding a further two bodies in the rubble.
"Only a miracle can bring our friends back alive from the rubble, but we are still digging because many are missing," town mayor Sergio Pirozzi told reporters on Friday.
In nearby villages, such as Pescara del Tronto, rescuers pulled out after all the inhabitants had been accounted for.
Italian President Sergio Mattarella flew to Amatrice by helicopter on Saturday to see the damage first hand before travelling onlater in the morning to the nearby city of Ascoli Piceno for the funeral of up to 40 of the victims.
Mourners gathered at a sports center in the city, where 35 coffins were lined up by early Saturday.
"Even if I didn't know them my heart broke for them. My thoughts are with them because there are people who have lost everything,homes, loved ones and the sacrifices made in life," said local resident Luciana Cavicchiuni. "These things should not happen," she said.
A day of national mourning had been announced, with flags due to fly at half mast around the country for the dead, who include a number of foreigners.
The civil protection department in Rome said 388 people were being treated for injuries in hospitals, and 40 of them were in critical condition. An estimated 2,500 people were left homeless by the most deadly quake in Italy since 2009.
Survivors with nowhere else to go are sleeping in neat rows of blue tents set up close to their flattened communities. The government has promised to rebuild the region, but some local people feared that would never happen.
"I'm afraid our village and others like it will just die. Most people don't live here year round anyway. In the winter time the towns are virtually empty," said Salvatore Petrucci, 77, who came from the nearby hamlet of Trisunga. "We may be the last ones to have lived in Trisunga."
Aftershocks continued to rattle the area overnight, thestrongest measuring 4.2. The Italian geological institute said some 1,332 aftershocks have hit Italy's central mountains since Wednesday's predawn 6.2 magnitude quake.
The original quake was so strong that the town nearest the epicenter, Accumoli, sank by 20 cm (7.87 inches), according to Italy's geological institute.