Author Topic: Italian Prime Minister declares State of Emergency following earthquake  (Read 1135 times)

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Offline TheHouseMan

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http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=455783&publicationSubCategoryId=200

Italian PM declares state of emergency as quake death toll reaches 27

ROME (Xinhua) -- Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has declared a state of emergency in the country after a strong quake hit central Italy early Monday, leaving at least 27 people dead and over 40 others missing.

Berlusconi has cancelled a scheduled visit to Russia, and is now on his way to the quake-hit areas, RAI TV reported.

Earlier, the ANSA news agency reported that 30 people were missing in the Abrusso region where the quake was centered.

Firefighters, volunteers and military personnel are racing against time to search for survivors in collapsed buildings in the quake-hit areas, TV footage showed.

Rome's civil protection officials said dozens of people have been injured in the quake as thousands of buildings have been damaged by the quake.

Not long after the quake hit at 03:32 a.m. local time (0232 GMT), Italian President Giorgio Napolitano and Berlusconi held an urgent meeting to assess the situation.

The US Geological Survey said the earthquake had a magnitude of 6.3, but Italy's geophysics authorities put the magnitude at 5.8.

According to media reports, part of a university dormitory has collapsed in the city of L'Aguila, the quake's epicenter, some 95 km northeast of Rome.

The ANSA news agency reported that dome of a church fell down and the city's cathedral was also damaged.

The temblor has caused panic among residents in L'Aguila and sent many of them to flee their houses. It was felt in Rome and much of the country.

State television RAI said an elderly woman and a child had been killed in a village east of Rome in the Abruzzo region. ANSA said four children died in L'Aquila after their houses collapsed.

Italian civil protection officials, quoted by Italian media, have warned that thousands of people could be left homeless after the earth movement.

The quake came just several hours after a 4.6-magnitude tremor hit north-central Italy Sunday night, which left no damage or injuries.

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My comment: Does anyone know if Italy has any kind of new dictator powers in a state of emergency, or is it just a phrase used to warn of danger?