Italy’s most powerful earthquake in decades levels ancient structures but spares lives
Central Italy was shaken by a powerful magnitude 6.6 earthquake Sunday morning, destroying centuries-old buildings and wounding at least 20. It was the most powerful quake to hit Italy in more than three decades, the United States Geological Survey reported.
- The earthquake struck in the Umbria region near Norcia, which is approximately 15 miles northeast of Rome.
- At least 20 people were wounded. No deaths reported so far, but people are still being pulled from the rubble.
- There were 50 aftershocks measuring over 3.0 in the two and a half hours that followed the quake.
- The Basilica of San Benedetto mostly collapsed. The 13th century building is dedicated to Saint Benedict and linked to a functioning Benedictine monastery.
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- 15,000 people have been left without power, Fabrizio Curcio, the civil protection chief said, according to CNN. Access to some villages has been cut off, so it’s difficult to assess the full impact of the quake.
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- Sunday’s earthquake follows tremors in and around Rome last week, and after a devastating quake in Amatrice in August, which left 300 people dead and entire villages in ruins.
- Experts believe there will be more to come.”This is a complex sequence of related earthquakes occurring on more than one fault segment in central Italy,” the U.S. Geological Survey wrote. “We can expect aftershocks to continue for weeks and possibly months. We cannot rule out the possibility of similar-sized or larger events, though the probability of a larger event is low.”