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Second powerful earthquake strikes Italy – at least 15 dead

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A 5.8-magnitude earthquake has struck northern Italy with authorities reporting 15 dead. It comes a week after a 6.0-magnitude tremor hit the same region, killing seven and destroying hundreds of buildings.

The quake hit 51 kilometers north-east of the city of Parma at a depth of 9.6 kilometers in the province of Ferrara at 09:03 GMT.

At least 15 people died when buildings collapsed in the municipality of Modena, authorities say.

Some train services have been suspended and phone lines are down in areas of the north.

Twitter reports say the quake was felt throughout the north and buildings and schools have been evacuated.

The mayor of San Felice sul Panaro, a town 40 kilometers northwest of Bologna, told Sky News Italy that “people were trapped under the rubble” there.

A 6.0-magnitude quake hit the region on May 20, killing seven people and causing havoc.

The tremor brought downs many historic buildings across the North of the country and was followed by several powerful aftershocks.

Italy experiences frequent seismic activity on a small scale, although large tremors are comparatively rare.