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Strongest quake in decades hits central Italy, devastating historic buildings

Xinhua | Updated: 2016-10-31 09:12

Strongest quake in decades hits central Italy, devastating historic buildings

Collapsed buildings are seen following an earthquake in Campi Alto near Norcia, Italy, October 30, 2016. [Photo/Agencies]

ROME - A 6.5-magnitude earthquake hit central Italy on Sunday, causing no victims, but destroying precious historic buildings.

It was the fourth strong seismic event since late August, and the most powerful quake in the country since 1980, when a similar strike destroyed Irpinia area south of Naples, according to officials.

The temblor hit some 5.5 km from Norcia, a famous medieval town in the Umbria region, at 07:40 am local time (0640 GMT). The epicenter was at a depth of 10 km, the Italian National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV) reported.

No casualties were reported on Sunday. Some 20 people were injured, but none of them were in critical conditions, Italian civil protection's chief Fabrizio Curcio told a press conference.

"We are going to face a tough night. Yet, this (absence of victims) is a great news we have," Curcio said.

"We are now focused on providing first assistance to all those who had to leave their houses, waiting to later move them in hotels and other hosting structures along the Adriatic coast," he added.

The overall number of displaced people was not yet available, but anyway "significant", according to the official.

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