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Last Updated: Thursday, 25 November, 2004, 03:57 GMT
Earthquake shakes northern Italy
An earthquake with a magnitude of 5.2 has shaken northern Italy, from Genoa in the west to Venice in the east.

The tremor hit just before midnight (2300 GMT), with its epicentre near Lake Garda, officials said.

The quake caused some damage in towns near Lake Garda, 85km (58 miles) east of Milan but there were no reports of serious injuries.

Italy is prone to earthquakes, although they are more common in the centre and south of the country.

Among the worst quakes was a tremor just south of Naples in 1980 that killed more than 3,000 people.

The latest earthquake lasted about 10 seconds, Italian media reported.

In Milan and some smaller towns near the lake residents rushed out of their homes, the Ansa news agency reported.

Masonry fell off some buildings, while cracks appeared in walls. Several hospitals in the region were evacuated as a precaution while the premises were checked.

Authorities said they expected there would be some aftershocks.


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