'It's Apocalyptic, Our Town Is Finished" - Two Quakes Strikes Italy, Collapsing Buildings And Causing Panic
As reported earlier, at 7:10pm on Wednesday central Italy was shaken by a strong, shallow 5.4 magnitude quake which was felt as far away as Rome.
However it was an aftershock which struck two hours later at 9:18 pm, and which was 8 times stronger and measured M6.1 according to the USGS, likewise striking at a shallow, 10-km depth, which brought up vivid memories of the August 24 earthquake which destroyed the hilltop village of Amatrice and other nearby towns, leading to 300 casualties. It was the second quake which according to AP resulted in crumbling churches and buildings, knocking out power and sending panicked residents into the rain-drenched streets.
The epicenter of the first earthquake today was Castel Santangelo Sul Nera, near Perugia, but the more powerful aftershock hit the area centerd on Visso.
One person was injured in the epicenter of Visso, where the rubble of collapsed buildings tumbled into the streets. But the Civil Protection agency, which initially reported two injured, had no other immediate reports of injuries or deaths. Because many residents had already left their homes after the first one struck just after 7pm., with plans to spend the night in their cars or elsewhere, they weren't home when the second one hit two hours later, possibly saving lives, news reports said.
“It was a very strong, apocalyptic earthquake – people were screaming in the street, and now the lights are cut off,” said Marco Rinaldi, the mayor of Ussita, a community of 400 that was also affected by the earthquake. “Many houses have collapsed. Our town is finished."
Speaking to Sky TG24, Rinaldi said that "the facade of the church collapsed. By now I have felt many earthquakes. This is the strongest of my life. It was something terrible. The second quake was a long, terrible one.'