Quake kills one, scares many out of homes south of Naples

Widespread damage, evacuations after magnitude 5 tremor

Quake kills one, scares many out of homes south of Naples

Cosenza, October 26 - A magnitude 5 earthquake hit a wide area south of Naples early Friday, killing one elderly man and scaring thousands from their homes. The quake, which struck at 01.05 local time just north of the northern Calabrian city of Cosenza, was followed by over 100 aftershocks which kept residents spooked between the regions of Basilicata and Calabria. An 84-year-old man died from a heart attack at Scalea, near the epicentre, but otherwise no injuries were reported. A hospital had to be closed in the nearby town of Mormanno, which was evacuated after widespread damage to buildings including the cathedral, and Red Cross rescue workers moved in. A rest home in a nearby village was also evacuated. Many schools in the quake zone told pupils to stay at home. "The system worked well," said Civil Protection chief Franco Gabrielli in the wake of a continuing row over Tuesday's shock criminal verdict on the devastating 2009 L'Aquila quake that killed 309. Seven scientists and officials were given jail terms for failing to issue adequate warnings in a sentence that baffled international experts. The Italian Geophysics Institute (INGV) said Friday's quake was felt from Sicily to Molise. "A zone of very high seismic danger was hit,' INGV said. The Pollino area has been affected by a 'seismic swarm' that has produced more than 2,200 tremors, mostly just rumblings, in the last two years. The most recent, 3.5 in magnitude, drove hundreds of people onto the streets in several towns around Benevento south of Naples on October 18. Sometimes residents have opted to spend the night in their cars or camp out in the open. But most of the tremblers have not caused damage.

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