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Death toll climbs in northern Italy earthquake

Staff writers
May 30, 2012 — On Tuesday, a deadly magnitude 5.8 earthquake shook northern Italy. It was just a few kilometres away from where a similar strength earthquake struck just over a week ago.

An unoccupied farmhouse was reduced to rubble
An unoccupied farmhouse was reduced to rubble

At least 17 people have died and over 300 injured as a result of the earthquake that rocked northern Italy on Tuesday. Officials expect the death-toll to rise as the rescue effort continues for survivors buried beneath rubble.

More than 50 aftershocks rattled the region overnight, and could continue to do so for weeks or even months. Many fear the possibility that there could be more powerful earthquakes.

Tuesday's tremor collapsed several factories, buildings and warehouses in the region as well as damaging many cathedrals and churches.

The tremor was felt as far north as Austria and in the Italian cities of Venice Rome and Piedmont. In Milan, tall buildings and schools were evacuated.

Thousands slept in tents overnight as many fear returning to their homes. 

The quake struck just after 9:00 am local time and centred 40 km northwest of Bologna.

Just over a week ago that same region experienced a magnitude 6.0 tremor, which claimed the lives of seven people.

This earthquake, on May 20, was described by Italian officials as the worst to hit the area since the 1300s. The quake struck in the middle of the night and left over 7,000 people homeless.

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