Italy hit by 5.8-magnitude earthquake

May 29th, 2012 by Staff

Three people reportedly killed and buildings damaged by earthquake 40km north-west of Bologna in Northern Italy

A 5.8-magnitude earthquake shook a large swath of northern Italy at 9am local time on Tuesday, reportedly killing at least three people and bringing down buildings already damaged by a quake that hit the area less than two weeks ago.

The earthquake was centred 40km north-west of Bologna, close to where the earlier 6-magnitude quake killed seven. More than 200 aftershocks have continued to rattle thousands of people sleeping in tents and temporary accommodation.

According to early reports, one of the victims was killed when an industrial building collapsed

The mayor of San Felice sul Panaro, a town that suffered large scale damage in the last quake on 22 May, told Sky TV he feared further victims would be found under rubble.

A castle in the town of Finale Emilia, which was damaged on 20 May, reportedly suffered further damage on Monday. The cathedral in Mirandola, also damaged in the earlier quake, was reported to have suffered further structural damage.

Schools were evacuated across the Emilia Romagna region, but also in Florence in Tuscany. A hospital was reportedly evacuated in Modena and train services at Bologna were delayed for checks to the lines.

Italian earthquake experts quoted by Italian news agency Ansa said the quake was part of a “sequence”. The latest shock was centred on Mirandola at a depth of between 5-10km, said Ansa.

People in Bologna rushed into the street at the moment of the quake, which was also felt in Milan, Genoa and in the Veneto and Trentino regions.

Many houses near the epicentre of the first quake were left with large cracks, while cracks in the ground have spewed wet sand, due to pressure created by the quake.

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