Strongest quake in decades hits central Italy, devastating historic buildings

Updated: 2016-10-31 09:12


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The Cathedral of Santa Maria Argentea also collapsed during the quake.

"We will rebuild everything," Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said.

He appealed to the local population to "not resign," despite the much pain, fatigue, and stress they were going through.

The prime minister also encouraged mayors to submit to the government action plans to upgrade building safety standards in their towns and also outside the directly affected areas.

"We will accept no restraint, these areas must be reconstructed because they represent the heart of Italy," Renzi added.

Sunday's quake was strongly felt in Rome, some 170 km west to the epicenter. The metro service was shut down to allow precautionary checks. No severe damages were reported as of Sunday, but schools would remain close on Monday to check on their infrastructures.

The temblor was also felt as far as in the northern city of Bolzano, near the border with Austria, and in the southern region of Puglia.

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