Red Cross call on Italians to turn Wifi passwords off following earthquake

Communication has been difficult following the natural disaster...

Red Cross call on Italians to turn Wifi passwords off following earthquake

Gregorio Borgia / AP

The Red Cross is calling on Italians to unlock their broadband networks to aid communication in the wake of yesterday's earthquake in central Italy.

Natural disasters cause a surge in activity on communication networks and can overload them - communication is also disrupted by physical damage to communication infrastructure.

The Red Cross tweeted instructions telling users how they can unlock their networks.

The Red Cross is urging Italians in the earthquake disaster area to turn off their Wi-Fi passwords so anyone can use them as part of the relief efforts.

At least 247 people have died in an earthquake which has devastated parts of central Italy, regional officials have said.

The 6.2 magnitude quake struck the Lazio, Umbria and Le Marche regions in the early hours of Wednesday, leaving a trail of destruction.

The death toll from the disaster has risen from 159 to 247, Italian authorities have confirmed.

Dozens are believed to be trapped in Amatrice, Accumoli and Pescara del Tronto, while thousands of others have been left homeless.

At least 368 people have been taken to hospital with injuries.