Earthquake kills 2 on Italy's Ischia island

By Ed Adamczyk  |  Aug. 22, 2017 at 7:28 AM
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Aug. 22 (UPI) -- A 4.0-magnitude earthquake on the Italian resort island of Ischia killed two people and injured at least 39 others, police said.

The earthquake on the island on the Bay of Naples struck on Monday evening, with the most serious damage in the village of Casamicciola.

A woman died from falling masonry from a church, and another was found dead in the rubble of her home, The Telegraph reported Tuesday.

A 7-month-old baby was among a family of seven that were trapped in the debris of their ruined home. Firefighters called the baby's survival and rescue "a miracle." His two brothers, ages 3 and 11, were also rescued from the rubble of their home.

Ciro, 11, saved Mattias, 3, by pulling him under a bed with him after the quake, police said.

"Then he hit the rubble with a broom handle to attract rescuers," said Ischia Finance Guard commander Andrea Gentile.

Hundreds of frightened people panicked and ran into streets when the earthquake struck. Cracking walls at a hospital caused its evacuation, and some of those injured were airlifted to hospitals in Naples.

Additional ferry boats carried survivors to the Italian mainland. Some emergency crews, already on the island fighting a series of wildfires, also assisted.

Italy's National Institute of Geophysics and Vulcanology put the earthquake's magnitude at 4.0 but both the U.S. Geological Survey and the European-Mediterranean Seismological Center measured its magnitude at 4.3.

The quake struck days before the first anniversary of an earthquake that killed nearly 300 people in the central Italian town of Amatrice. The town of Casamicciola, where much of Monday's damage was centered, was the site of an 1883 earthquake that destroyed the town and killed more than 2,000 people.

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