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Italy Rattled by 'Apocalyptic' Quakes

Two earthquakes shook central Italy 2 hours apart Wednesday
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 26, 2016 5:00 PM CDT
Italy Rattled by 'Apocalyptic' Quakes
Debris lie next to a fountain in Castelsantangelo sul Nera, Italy, Wednesday, Oct 26, 2016 following an earthquake. A pair of strong aftershocks shook central Italy late Wednesday, crumbling churches and buildings, knocking out power and sending panicked residents into the rain-drenched streets just...   (AP Photo/Sandro Perozzi)

(Newser) – "It was an unheard-of violence," the AP quotes Ussita mayor Marco Rinaldi as saying. "It was something terrible." Two earthquakes shook central Italy about two hours apart on Wednesday, causing mass panic but few injuries in an area where nearly 300 were killed during a quake in August, Reuters reports. The first earthquake Wednesday was a 5.4 magnitude; the second was a 6.1—or eight times stronger than the first. The fact that terrified people were still in the streets after the first quake probably saved lives when the stronger one hit. Buildings across the area were damaged or destroyed, power was lost, and hundreds of people will be sleeping in the streets overnight. Rinaldi calls Wednesday's quakes "apocalyptic" and believes his town is "finished." (Read more earthquake stories.)

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