Rome

North-central Italy braces for aftershocks

Major quake registers 5.2

North-central Italy braces for aftershocks

Rome, June 21 - Northern and central Italy suffered a 5.2-magnitude earthquake on Friday, causing minor damage in rural areas as well as some injuries, prompting local authorities to prepare makeshift accommodation in anticipation of coming aftershocks. The epicentre of the earthquake was located between the towns of Massa and Lucca in Tuscany and La Spezia in the Liguria region. The quake struck at about 12:33 pm local time. The Civil Protection Department in Tuscany said buildings had been damaged in the towns of Lungiana, Fivizzano and Casole. In some cases roofs reportedly caved in. At least one person was reportedly injured. Aftershocks continued during the course of the afternoon, with some reaching magnitude 4.0, according to local authorities. Friday's earthquake was the strongest to take place in the area since May, 2012 when a 6.0-magnitude earthquake killed more than 20 people in the central Emilia-Romagna region. The head of the national civil protection agency, Franco Gabrielli, announced plans to travel to the area to examine the effects of the earthquake on Massa Carrara and also perhaps Lucca, the two areas that suffered the most. Most of Northern Italy felt the tremors, with alerts going off from the northeastern city of Alessandria right through to the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region in the northeast, according to maps published on the "Did you feel the earthquake" service of the Italian National Institute of Geophysics and Vulcanology. Authorities are setting up makeshift accommodation in the Tuscan areas of Garfagnana and Lunigiana. The area of Lunigiana is considered to be of medium-high earthquake risk and historically has suffered a series of quakes, some very strong. Some 50 earthquakes of a magnitude above 5.1 have taken place in the area between the year 1500 and today.

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