News24

Strong quake hits Italy

2012-05-20 08:48

Bologna - A strong earthquake rocked a large swathe of northern Italy early on Sunday morning, causing at least three deaths and collapsing rural factories and ancient bell towers in towns.

The epicentre of the quake, which struck at 04:04 and had a magnitude of 5.9, was in the plains near Modena. But it was felt in nearby regions.

One person working a night shift died in the collapse of a factory and two others were killed in the collapse of another building. Rescue officials were checking reports that other people were buried under rubble.

First television pictures taken after dawn showed serious damage to historic buildings and rural structures. Parts of a historic fortress in one town collapsed.

Thousands of people in the area rushed into the streets after the quake, felt in the major towns of Bologna, Modena, Ferrara, Rovigo, Verona and Mantua.

A series of strong aftershocks hit the area and local mayors ordered residents to stay out of their homes.

The quake was centred 35km north-northwest of Bologna at a relatively shallow depth of 10km, the US Geological Survey said.

The last major earthquake to hit Italy was a 6.3 magnitude quake in the central Italian city of L'Aquila in 2009, killing nearly 300 people. 

Comments
  • Eleanor - 2012-05-20 12:39

    YES! ALICIA, WELL SAID THE PLANET IS MOUNING AND PROTESTING AT THE WAY WE ARE ABUSING IT AND IT ONLY A MATTER OF GOD'S TIMING AND ALL WILL BE OVER.SO IT IS BEST THAT WE START BY PRAYING AND ASK FOR A SECOND CHANCE TO RECTIFY OUR WRONG DOINGS.

      Paolo - 2012-05-21 06:28

      Earthquakes etc, like floods, volcanoes etc. ARE the Planet. One cannot separate the one from the other, regardless of our abuses Eleanor, if we all fall on our knees tomorrow, somewhere I guarantee, there will still be an earthquake, a hungry child. Nature, including earthquakes, is beautiful, please don't pray for it all to go away. Never nice when people die, but we all die sooner or later

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