Earthquake strikes Italy, near heart of coronavirus outbreak

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Earthquake strikes Italy, near heart of coronavirus outbreak

(DAILY MAIL) — Northern Italy was rattled by an earthquake near the heart of the coronavirus outbreak today.

The 4.5-magnitude tremor struck near Coli in the region of Emilia-Romagna, around 30 miles north-east of Genoa and 60 miles south of Milan.

Emilia-Romagna has more than 21,000 virus cases and the epicentre was near the border with Lombardy, which has recorded more than 62,000 infections.

Some people reported seeing their furniture shake and a ‘slight wave movement’ in Genoa while another witness said the earthquake felt like a passing truck.

The US Geological Survey says the quake struck at 11.42am local time at a depth of six miles with an epicentre near Coli.

Coli is a commune in the province of Piacenza, which has recorded 3,223 cases of coronavirus since the outbreak began.

The wider region of Emilia-Romagna has confirmed 21,029 cases including 2,788 deaths, more than many countries.

Lombardy has seen 62,153 cases and 11,377 deaths and has been under lockdown since March 8, slightly longer than the rest of Italy.

Emilia-Romagna has 325 people currently in intensive care with coronavirus, while neighbouring Lombardy has 1,074.

Hospitals in northern Italy have been overwhelmed and doctors have been forced into agonising life-or-death decisions over who should receive intensive care.

The number of new cases has slowed in Italy, while the death toll is down from a peak but its decline has stalled in recent days.

Italy can be prone to earthquakes, notably a 6.2-magnitude quake which killed nearly 300 people in the town of Amatrice and nearby villages in 2016.

Modena in northern Italy was hit by a 5.8-magnitude quake in 2012 which killed 17 people and injured another 350.

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