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Earthquake in central Italy

At least 27 people died and thousands were left homeless when an earthquake with a magnitude of 5,8 shook central Italy early Monday morning, seriously damaging buildings in the mountainous Abruzzo Region east of Rome, officials told Italian news media.

The epicenter was in L’Aquila, a picturesque Medieval fortress hill town, where at least eight people died and more were trapped under rubble.

The quake struck around 3:30 a.m. and could be felt as far away as Rome, some 95 miles to the west, where it rattled furniture and set off car alarms.

Part of a student dormitory, a church tower and other historic buildings were reported to have collapsed. L’Aquila cathedral was damaged. Initial reports said one person died when part of the student dormitory crumbled and seven people may be missing in the debris.

Electricity, phone and gas lines were also reported damaged.

by S. C.
06 april 2009, World News > Italy