DEADLY EARTHQUAKE ROCKS CENTRAL ITALY; DEATH TOLL RISING

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ROME: The strong earthquake of 6.2 magnitude struck central Italy town of Norcia in the province of Perugia on Wednesday morning, leaving several buildings collapsed in numerous towns and cities, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said.

Italy

The United States Geological Survey said that the epicenter of the quake was near the town of Norcia, in the region of Umbria at 3:36am (1:36am GMT).

According to the local media reports, at least six people died in the earthquake-related incidents. Meanwhile, the number of injured was yet to be issued officially.

Officials said the number of casualties was also expected to rise as the rescue and fire departments struggled to reach the victims across the country.

In a tweet, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s spokesman said that the government was in touch with the country’s civil protection agencies and following the situation closely to cope with the aftermath of the earthquake.

Following the massive quake shocks, a 5.5 magnitude aftershock also hit the same region of the country at around 4:30am.

Earlier in 2009, a major earthquake had struck Italy’s central city of L’Aquila. More than 300 people were killed in the quake.