Killer quake strikes northern Italy
A magnitude 6.0 earthquake rocked a large area of northern Italy early yesterday. At least four people were killed and serious damage was caused to buildings.
The quake struck at 4.04am while most people were sleeping and thousands ran into the streets in their night clothes in panic.
“I ran out in my underwear,” one man told Italian television.
The epicentre of the quake, the strongest to hit Italy in three years, was in the plains near Modena in the Emilia-Romagna region of the Po River Valley. The tremor was felt in nearby regions of Lombardy and Veneto.
One person, believed to be a Moroccan man working a night shift in a polyester factory, died when he was hit by falling debris.
Two men, also working a night shift, were killed when part of a modern ceramics factory made of steel collapsed in the town of Sant’ Agostino.
“He wasn’t supposed to be there. He changed shifts with a friend who wanted to go to the beach,” the mother of one of the victims said.
A woman, believed to be a German, was also reported to have died after suffering a heart attack because of the quake and several dozen people suffered minor injuries.
Rescue officials were checking reports that other people were buried under rubble.
A series of strong aftershocks hit the area, the strongest measuring 5.1 and local mayors ordered residents to stay out of doors. The quake was centred 35km north-northwest of Bologna.