North Italy sees 15 people killed in 5.8-magnitude quake

May 29, 2012 12:00 AM

An earthquake measuring 5.8 on the Richter scale has struck northern Italy, leaving at least 15 people dead and several others missing.
The strong earthquake hit in the same region which was still recovering from another deadly tremor on May 20, killing at least 15 people, with scores still missing.

The epicentre of the quake, which struck at 9:00 a.m. (07:00 GMT), was centred 40 km northwest of the city of Bologna, the US Geological Survey said.
People were found buried under the rubble of collapsed homes and factories, with experts saying they also died under falling debris.

The quake was felt in major towns of Piedmont in north-western Italy to Venice in the northeast, and as far away north as Austria. Major public services were shut down following the quake, while authorities checked for damages.
The May 20 quake left 10 people dead and at least 7,000 homeless, described by experts as the worst to hit the region since the 1300s, causing over EUR 200 mm with of damage.

A number of historic castles, centuries-old churches and towers were also destroyed or damaged by the quakes and their aftershocks during the past weeks.
The last major earthquake to hit Italy was a 6.3-magnitude quake in the central Italian city of L'Aquila in 2009, which killed nearly 300 people.

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