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New quake kills 9, collapses buildings in Italy

Second quake in nine days brings death and destruction

MIRANDOLA, Italy | May 29, 2012

Officials blame a 5.8-magnitude earthquake Tuesday for nine deaths and the collapse of buildings already weakened last week by a quake in northern Italy.

Prime Minister Mario Monti said Italy would do whatever was necessary to return the Emilia Romagna region to normal, Italy's ANSA news agency reported.

"I guarantee that the State will do everything that it has to do, that it is possible to do, to ensure this very special, important and productive region for Italy can return to its normal life in a short period of time," Monti said.

The earthquake shook the region about nine days after a 6-magnitude temblor killed seven and caused extensive damage to structures, many of which collapsed Tuesday, officials said.

In Milan, residential buildings and offices were evacuated for fear they would collapse. People also rushed into the streets from their homes and workplaces in Bologna.

The epicenter was in Mirandola in Modena province, about 25 miles from Bologna, officials said. The quake also was felt in Milan, Genoa and in the regions of Veneto and Trentino.

The earthquake also interrupted or slowed down train service, ANSA said.

The mayor of San Felice sul Panaro, a town that sustained major damage last week, told reporters he feared more victims would be found beneath the rubble, the British newspaper The Guardian reported.

In the town of Finale Emilia, a castle damaged last week reportedly suffered more damage Tuesday. The cathedral in Mirandola, also damaged in the earlier quake, was reported to have sustained more structural damage.

2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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