Italian quakes kill 24, threaten 13,000 jobs

23 aftershocks leave 15,000 homeless

ROME | June 1, 2012

"this is a regional economic disaster"

—Gaetano Maccaferr

ROME, June 1 (UPI) -- Two strong earthquakes that struck Italy in the past two weeks killed 24 people and put up to 13,000 jobs at risk, officials said.

The National Institute of Geophysics and Vulcanology reported 23 aftershocks from a 5.8-magnitude Tuesday earthquake that killed 17 people, injured 350 and left 15,000 homeless in Emilia and the neighboring region of Lombardy.

At least 500 plants were damaged and lost equipment in that quake and one on May 20, officials said.

Confindustria, which represents Italian manufacturing and service companies, said the quakes could affect 1 percent of Italy's gross domestic product.

"Immediate and substantial government assistance is needed to get the region working again," said Gaetano Maccaferri, the president of Confindustria for Emilia-Romagna.

"This is a regional economic disaster with considerable impact on the national economy."

Confindustria and Civil Defense authorities planned to meet on procedures to help businesses request surveys, inspections and damage evaluations for government assistance.

2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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