Quake fear high in Italy

BY SUSAN KIM | BALTIMORE | November 4, 2002

Aftershocks alarmed Italians in the Molise region Monday after a quake last week collapsed a preschool roof, killing 26 children and three adults.

Tremors of up to 4.2 on the Richter scale restarted Monday, sending more than 6,000 residents out of their homes and into the streets. More than 30 different towns or villages saw damage from the recent quakes.

In Naples, many schools were closed Monday as parents awaited assurance that school buildings were safe.

The preschool was in the small farming town of San Giuliano di Puglia. Officials were investigating why more stringent earthquake codes were not adopted in the town.

Last week's 5.4 quake rocked the south-central Molise region.

The town of Campobasso was hard hit, as were villages northeast of Naples. At least 70 percent of homes in the area were damaged, according to reports from the government forestry department.

That quake's epicenter was in Campobasso, some 50 miles northeast of Naples and about 140 miles southeast of Rome.

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