Daylight revealed widespread damage in central Italy on Thursday after strong earthquakes overnight that caused panic and fear among residents just two months after a quake nearby killed hundreds. No one was killed this time, but dozens of people sustained minor injuries and about four others more serious ones, Italy’s Civil Protection Agency said. Many residents of Campi, a town of about 200, slept in their cars as aftershocks rocked the Umbria, Marche and Lazio regions throughout the night. The earthquake on Aug. 24 in the same area killed nearly 300 people and destroyed several towns.
The first tremor damaged buildings, with the second one we had collapses.
Rosario Meduri, Fire department official
The quakes, about two hours apart, damaged several buildings, including Campi’s late 14th century church, San Salvatore a Campi di Norcia, whose rose-windowed facade was reduced to rubble. The first tremor measured magnitude 5.4, causing many people to flee their homes and the second was stronger at 6.1 magnitude. A 4.9 aftershock came a couple hours after that, and dozens of weaker ones followed. The fact that the first earthquake was weaker than the second probably helped save lives because most people had already left their homes, Interior Minister Angelino Alfano said on state radio.