Rome, May 20 - Italian President Giorgio Napolitano on Monday said the country was united by the pain and the memory of the devastating earthquake that struck the northern Emilia-Romagna region a year ago on this day. "Tragedies of this kind inflict a serious wound on the entire country, which must unite itself in the pain and in the memory," said Napolitano in a statement. The quake, which struck just after 4:00 AM Italian time, measured a magnitude of 5.9 and was followed by a 5.8-magnitude quake on May 29. These and their aftershocks killed a total of 27 people, injured several hundred and left thousands homeless. The economy in the area, long a powerhouse of Italian industrial output, also suffered a huge blow, and many buildings today remain in ruin. "In the certainty that the same spirit will continue to give life to the reconstruction effort, I express my closeness to all the stricken communities and all Italians," Napolitano added.