Italian quake on Ischia kills two women

An earthquake has struck the Italian island of Ischia, killing two women and leaving 39 others injured.

Rescuers pulled a seven-month-old baby from the rubble and are working to free his two brothers, officials say. Their parents escaped alive.

The 4.0 magnitude quake struck at 20:57 (19:57 GMT) on Monday, damaging a church and hospital.

The island, off the coast of Naples, has a population of about 50,000, and is extremely popular with tourists.

Many people were eating in restaurants when the quake struck, at a depth of around 5km (3 miles) just north of the commune of Casamicciola.

“A horrible experience, everything was shaking, plunged into darkness, houses were collapsing… a nightmare,” one person wrote on Twitter.

Another said: “I was on the couch watching TV. Blackout, shaking, something fell on my head. I scream, my mother grabs me and we ran outside.”

One elderly woman was reportedly killed by debris falling from a church, while another body was found in the rubble of collapsed building.

Among those rescued from the rubble was a pregnant woman.

Parts of the island were said to be without power.

A hospital in another badly-hit commune, Lacco Ameno, had to be evacuated and a temporary unit set up outside, local media reported.

The Italian Red Cross confirmed on Twitter they were working with local authorities.

Extra ferries, from Naples to Ischia, were laid on during the night to bring more rescue workers to the island and allow holiday-makers to leave. Dozens of people are said to have ended their holidays early and Italian media said some tourists were sleeping on benches waiting for boats to arrive.

An emergency response team was quickly on the scene partly because additional numbers were already on the island to fight localised bush fires.


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