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Italy PM Monti visits quake-stricken region

May 22, 2012 at 3:38 PM
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SANT’AGOSTINO, Italy, May 22 (UPI) -- Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti visited Emilia-Romagna Tuesday to survey the damage from the quake that struck two days earlier, officials said.

Nearly 5,000 people were left homeless by Sunday's 5.9-magnitude quake. More than 10 tremors followed throughout the night into Monday. ANSA reported it was the worst earthquake in Italy since the 2009 L'Aquila quake, which killed 208 people.

"I came, first of all, to give my condolences to the relatives of the victims," Monti told residents of Sant'Agostino. "I also wanted to see for myself the extent of the damage."

Monti said a state of emergency would be declared in the area.

Monti left the NATO summit in Chicago early Sunday when news of the quake broke. He also returned to Italy to address Saturday's bomb attack outside of a Brisindi school, which killed a 16-year-old girl.

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