Quakes have Italians on edge

June 24, 2013 at 3:18 PM

LA SPEZIA, Italy, June 24 (UPI) -- An Italian governor has declared a state of emergency after a string of earthquakes, the strongest a magnitude 5.2, struck coastal Tuscany.

The quakes were recorded over the weekend near the seaside city of La Spezia on Italy's west coast, ANSA news agency said. No injuries were reported but building damage was noted after five aftershocks, the largest a magnitude 4.4, were felt Sunday.

Scientists warned the series of smaller tremors could be a harbinger of worse to come with the region's active fault line eerily stable despite the seismic activity.

That prompted many Italians in the region to abandon their homes Sunday night in favor of sleeping in cars or other places.

The region has been hit hard in recent years by earthquakes, including a 5.8-magnitude temblor in L'Aquila that killed 297 people.

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