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Earthquake Rocks Italy Kills 7

People Are Panic Stricken

By Dock Walls, @dockwalls

A 6.0 magnitude earthquake centered 20 miles north of Bologna, Italy destroyed several historic buildings, damaged castles, toppled church towers, collapsed cathedral roofs and brought down a church bell. At least seven people were killed, including three night shift workers found in ceramics and polyester factories. The victims were crushed by falling debris. More than 50 people have been injured. Rescuers are frantically working to pull survivors from the rubble of this devastating earthquake.

The U.S. Geological Survey reports the massive earthquake struck at 4:04 AM local time. Panic-stricken people, awakened by the violent shaking, ran out into the streets in their pajamas and underwear. It was preceded an hour earlier by a 4.2 quake. Residents are reacting nervously to the aftershocks, which continue to shake the earthquake-affected region, including one that registered 5.1 on the Richter scale.

Coincidentally, the last major earthquake to hit Italy occurred in 2009. It registered 6.3 and forced then Prime Minister Silva Burlusconi to move the scheduled G8 Summit. There is no word whether current Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti and other officials who traveled to the U.S. for the G8 and NATO summit in Chicago will remain or immediately return home.