UK & World News
Fifteen Dead After Strong Quake Hits Italy
Rescue teams are frantically searching for survivors after a powerful earthquake in northern Italy - the second in nine days.
The 5.8-magnitude quake struck just after 9am local time in an area that had already suffered substantial damage following a quake on May 20.
That seismic event left seven people dead and some 5,000 in temporary accommodation.
The latest tremor has claimed the lives of at least 15 people, and injured 200.
Factories, warehouses and churches collapsed, dealing another blow to a region where thousands are still homeless from a stronger tremor earlier this month.
There are fears other people could be dead beneath the rubble of buildings following the latest tragedy.
One of the victims was a parish priest at Rovereto di Novi, after part of the church he was in collapsed. He was named locally as Father Ivo Martini.
Dozens more people were reported injured, including a woman who jumped from the second floor of her apartment.
The area affected was around 40km (25 miles) northwest of Bologna - the same region suffering a series of aftershocks following the earthquake in the early hours of May 20.
TV pictures showed crumpled buildings in nearby San Felice Panaro as rescuers clawed at rubble with their bare hands to reach survivors.
The town's mayor Alberto Silvestri said: "There have been victims, this is very serious."
The quake was felt across the whole of Italy, with people running into the streets as far away as Milan, Venice, Genoa and Perugia, with shocks also felt in neighbouring Austria.
In the 90 minutes following the earthquake there were also four aftershocks measuring above 4.0 on the Richter scale - the largest being 4.7 just before 10.30am (local time).
Spokesman for the Italian Geophysics and Volcanology Institute Alessandro Amato said: "It looks like a new fault line has broken - this earthquake happened just west of the initial one earlier this month."
Train services north of Bologna, a major junction in the Italian network, were also disrupted with services from the city to Milan, Venice and Verona affected.
Mobile networks were also impaired with communication in and out of the affected area sporadic, as frantic relatives and friends tried to call loved ones across a wide swathe of northern Italy.
Officials said many buildings that had already been partially damaged collapsed in the new earthquake, with churches being particularly badly-hit and the cathedral in Mirandola destroyed.
A photo posted on Twitter showed rubble surrounding the altar of the cathedral, the wooden pews crushed like matchsticks under tons of masonry.
Terrified locals fled into the streets in the city of Bologna as shops, schools, offices and factories emptied, while other neighbouring towns and cities ordered immediate evacuations of all public buildings.
Two workers are thought to have been killed in Medolla, near Modena, after a warehouse collapsed on an industrial estate, while the other victim was in San Felice.
Fernando Ferioli, the mayor of Finale Emilia, which was also severely damaged in the earlier earthquake said: "It's a disaster here. There have been fresh collapses. This is another earthquake, it is not an aftershock."