“I saw hell”: Huge earthquake rocks central Italy

Nurcia Basilica

A MAGNITUDE 6.6 earthquake struck central Italy early on Sunday morning toppling the Basilica of Saint Benedict in Norcia and inflicting extensive damage on surrounding towns in the Umbria region.

No fatalities have been reported but live television images have shown people fleeing for safety with the aid of firefighters and people being pulled from rubble.

Ussita mayor Marco Rinaldi told press “It’s a disaster! A disaster! I was sleeping in my car and I saw hell”.

Like many people Rinaldi had been sleeping in his car after being made homeless by the horrendous earthquake which struck the region in August, killing more than 300 people.

In Arquata del Tronto, struck again after being the epicentre of the August 24 earthquake, mayor Aleandro Petrucci said: “There are no towns left … Everything came down.”

The quake was so powerful that aftershocks were felt not only in Rome, but also across the border in Croatia and Slovenia.

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