Deadly Earthquake Hits Northern Italy
(Photo credit: CNN)
By the CNN Wire Staff
ROME — At least 10 people were killed in a 5.8-magnitude earthquake
in northern Italy on Tuesday, Italian news agency ANSA reported. Civil
protection authorities predicted the number would rise.
The earthquake came nine days after a 6.0-magnitude quake in the same region killed seven people.
Tuesday’s quake was followed by several aftershocks. Italy’s
Institute of Geology said the aftershocks measured 5.3 and 5.1
magnitude. The U.S. Geological Survey recorded one aftershock at 5.6
magnitude just before 1 p.m. local time.
Tuesday’s earthquake was centered in the province of Modena, near
Bologna. The towns of Mirandola and Cavezzo were closest to the
epicenter, civil protection authorities said.
Eyewitnesses reported on Twitter that the town of Cavezzo is about
70% destroyed. Pictures purportedly from the town show widespread
destruction, with buildings reduced to rubble.
“People are very scared. It’s been shaking nonstop for the past week,” said journalist Andrea Vogt, who was near the epicenter.
“We don’t know how many are still trapped,” she told CNN. “Telephone
lines are overloaded. It’s difficult to get through to emergency
The earthquakes in the last 10 days have been “a real shock” to
locals, she said, adding that no one could remember so many quakes in
such a short period of time.
“Factories were full. Many of the workers were working on repairs to
the already damaged buildings,” said Vogt, a freelance journalist based
Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti was in a meeting discussing last
week’s earthquake with the head of the civil protection agency and the
governor of the region when the new earthquake hit.
“The state will do all what needs to be done, in the quickest way, to
assure the return to normal life to such a special and productive
region of the country,” Monti said in a televised statement.
“Some buildings that were damaged already in last week’s earthquake
were affected again today. San Felice sul Panaro and Mirandola
registered most of the damage,” a spokeswoman said.
At least 40 other aftershocks, most shallow and with a magnitude of 2
to 3, shook the region Tuesday, according to the Italian geological
Some train services have been suspended for safety reasons, and
high-speed trains from Bologna to Milan and Florence, among others, are
running at slower speeds, train operators said. There are no trains
stuck on tracks, said Trenitalia, the Italian train system.
Northern Italy is the heartland of the country’s manufacturing industry.
“It’s going to have an economic impact as well as a human impact,” Vogt said of the earthquake.
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