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5.1 tremor hits Italy's quake-struck north

04 june 2012, 16:48
A house is damaged after an earthquake. ©AFP
A house is damaged after an earthquake. ©AFP
The quake-struck Emilia Romagna region in northeast Italy was hit by a 5.1-magnitude quake on Sunday, sparking widespread panic among jittery inhabitants and but causing little damage to buildings, AFP reports.

No people were hurt in the quake, according to police.

The quake hit towns in the Emilia Romagna region just weeks after the area was devastated by two strong tremors which left 23 dead.

Thousands of homeless have been living in tent camps or their cars since the quakes on May 20 and 29.

The area has been hit by hundreds of aftershocks since the first tremor and fear of another disaster remains high in the picturesque towns of Italy's northeast, which has seen priceless churches, chapels and castles damaged.

"We can't go on like this, it's got to end sometime. All we can do is hope," an inhabitant from the small town of Mirandola told SKY TG 24 television, describing the "scenes of total panic" when the ground began to shake.

An 18th-century clock tower in the town of Novi di Modena collapsed during the quake. It had been severely damaged in the previous tremors and toppled over in a "red zone" in the historic centre which had been declared unsafe.

"It was a really strong, short but intense," an inhabitant in Concordia told Sky.

"The church bells started ring, the ground was shaking and people were panicking. Thank God no-one was in any of the houses -- they'd all been evacuated."

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