Quakes rock southern Italy, alarmed people sleeping outdoors

In Italy, at least nine earthquakes have rocked southern province in two hours, prompting frightened residents to sleep outdoors. Italy’s national seismology agency INGV said the strongest quake measured 5.1 struck yesterday.

That jolt was followed in rapid succession by eight more tremors, with the strongest measuring at 4.4. Epicentre of the quakes was Montecilfone, a small town in Campobasso province in the south-central region of Molise.

Civil protection officials said a boy was slightly hurt after leaping off a balcony in fear, but no injuries are blamed directly on the quakes. Molise Governor Donato Toma said some buildings suffered cracks but no major damage occurred.  The biggest jolt was felt in much of Italy’s south, including in Rome and Naples.

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