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by Erika Southey

A POWERFUL 6.6 Mw earthquake rocked Central Italy on October, 30; leaving the town of Norcia and other neighbouring towns devastated.

As residents are left in shock – rescue workers are on the scene clearing rubble and searching for trapped victims.

As per the USGS report, the quake was at a depth  of 1.5 km; centred 68 kilometres east-southeast of Perugia.

Just over two months earlier (August, 24), the same area was hit by a 6.2 Mw earthquake that claimed 297 lives as reported by the Protezione Civile (Civil Protection) department. They are the national body in Italy that deals with the prediction, prevention and management of exceptional events. There are reports of several injuries, but no deaths.

Several reports (Reuters, CNN, Russia Today) show pictures of the devastation.  Old buildings now left in ruin of which the grande structure of Norcia’s historic Basilica of St Benedict is a significant ‘casualty’.

This is one of the biggest quakes to strike the region in over 30 years.