An earthquake struck the northern Italian region of Emilia Romagna on Sunday at about 4 AM, killing six people, wounding at least 50 and destroying many cars and buildings, officials said.
The quake struck at 4:04 a.m. Sunday between Modena and Mantova, about 22 miles north-northwest of Bologna at a relatively shallow depth of 3.2 miles, the U.S. Geological Survey said.
The four victims were killed by falling masonry. Italian media report two more quake-related deaths.
The tremor caused “significant damage to the cultural heritage” of Emilia Romagna region, the government said.
Many people were still awake at 4 a.m. and milling about town since it was a “white night,” with stores and restaurants open all night. Museums were supposed to have remained open as well but closed following the bombing Saturday of a school in southern Italy that killed one person.
Streets were filled with debris and people in the early hours Sunday, as locals assessed the damage of their homes and businesses. Some old church steeples and towers had also collapsed.
Cars had been crushed under falling masonry, and the Civil Protection Agency had evacuated hundreds of elderly and vulnerable people to makeshift communal shelters in Finale Emilia and towns near the epicentre.