Italy Quake Recovery Efforts Underway

Posted May 21st, 2012 at 8:55 am (UTC-5)
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Thousands of people in northern Italy woke up in tents and cars Monday morning, after a powerful 6.0 magnitude earthquake killed seven people and devastated centuries-old cultural sites Sunday.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake was centered about 35 kilometers northwest of Bologna.

It struck about 4 a.m. local time, sending panic-stricken residents running into the streets. A series of aftershocks followed.

Many of those residents say they are afraid to go back to their homes, fearing more aftershocks.

Civil protection crews are checking government buildings, schools, businesses, homes, churches and other cultural heritage sites to evaluate the scale of damage and rebuilding costs.

The quake turned historic buildings and churches into piles of rubble and dust. The Italian Culture Ministry says the damage is significant.

Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti has sent his condolences to the victims. He plans to leave the NATO summit in Chicago early to return home.