News24

15 dead in Italy earthquake aftershock

2012-05-29 15:43

Rome - A strong earthquake in north-eastern Italy on Tuesday killed 15 people and sent panicked residents rushing into the streets, just nine days after another deadly quake, media reports said.

At least three victims were workers crushed by falling rubble.

Three were killed in San Felice del Panaro when a factory collapsed, two others died in the town of Mirandola, one in Concordia and one in Finale, police captain Salvatore Iannizzotto in Modena told the Ansa news agency.

The eighth victim, the parish priest in the town of Rovereto di Novi, was also found dead but Iannizzotto said it was not clear whether he died of shock or was killed in the quake.

Several other people were also reported injured.

Railway network

The 5.8 magnitude tremor hit just nine days after a quake in the industrial northeast which killed six people and left thousands in makeshift tent dwellings with many homes and historic buildings reduced to rubble.

Tuesday's quake struck 60km east of Parma, at a depth of 10km, according to the Geographical Institute of Modena.

The quake was felt throughout northern and central Italy, forcing the collapse of several structures already weakened by the 6.0 magnitude quake which hit on May 20.

In Bologna, where the quake was clearly felt, trains to Milan, Verona and Modena were suspended, the Italian railway network said, while controls were carried out to check if lines had been damaged.

"Last night was the first night we'd spent back in our homes after the first quake. Then another one hit," one resident told SKY TG24 television in Sant'Agostino.

In Pisa, home of the famous leaning tower, offices were evacuated as a precautionary measure. People ran out into the streets from shops and offices in Milan, Bologna and the Aosta Valley, close to the French border.

Around 7 000 people who fled their homes in the region when the first earthquake hit are still living in around 89 tent camps erected in fields, sports fields, car-parks and schools. The camps can take up to 9 000 people.

The region has been hit by a series of quakes and aftershocks over the past two weeks.