Italy hit by an­other pow­er­ful earth­quake

The Myanmar Times - - World -

A POW­ER­FUL 6.6-mag­ni­tude earth­quake struck cen­tral Italy early yes­ter­day, pan­ick­ing res­i­dents and de­stroy­ing his­toric build­ings for the third time in just over two months.

Fabrizio Cur­cio, head of the civil pro­tec­tion agency, said there did not ap­pear to have been any fa­tal­i­ties after a tremor that was felt from Rome to Venice struck at 7:40am.

But the 14th-cen­tury Basil­ica of Saint Bene­dict in the Um­brian moun­tain town of Nor­cia, said to be have been the birth­place of the Catholic saint, was re­duced to a pile of rub­ble.

The church is looked after by an in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity of Bene­dic­tine monks based in a lo­cal monastery which at­tracts some 50,000 pil­grims ev­ery year.

Vis­i­bly up­set, some of the monks knelt in prayer be­fore the ru­ins shortly after the quake struck.

The epi­cen­tre was lo­cated at a depth of 6 kilo­me­tres (3.7 miles), north of the small town of Nor­cia, ac­cord­ing to the US Ge­o­log­i­cal Sur­vey.

Italy’s in­sti­tute of ge­ol­ogy and vul­canol­ogy mea­sured the quake at 6.5 and said it had been pre­ceded by a 6.1 tremor an hour ear­lier.

It came four days after quakes of 5.5 and 6.1 mag­ni­tude hit the same area and nine weeks after nearly 300 peo­ple died in an Au­gust 24 quake that dev­as­tated the tourist town of Ama­trice.

The 13th-cen­tury civic tower in Ama­trice, which was dam­aged but left stand­ing by the Au­gust quake, col­lapsed yes­ter­day. –

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