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22 AUGUST 2017 • 12:10AM
An earthquake measuring 4.3 magnitude hit the tourist island of Ischia, off the coast of Naples, on Monday night, officials said, killing 2 persons and trapping a half dozen others, including children, under collapsed home.
Residents and tourists on the island, which is crowded at the height of the summer season, ran out on to the streets from homes and hospitals.
Television images showed that about six buildings in the town of Casamicciola as well as a church had collapsed in the quake, which hit at 8:57 p.m. (1857 GMT).
Roberto Allocca, a doctor from a local hospital, told Sky TG24 television that about 25 people had been treated for minor injuries. Most of the hospital had been evacuated and the injured were treated outside.
Police said all but one of the people known to be trapped were responding to rescuers and were expected to be extracted alive. One person, however, wasn't responding, raising worries the death toll could rise, said Giovanni Salerno of the financial police.
Salerno confirmed one person was killed by falling masonry from a church. At least three children and a couple were extracted from the rubble.
Italy's National Institute of Geophysics and Vulcanology (INGV) put the magnitude at 4.0 but both the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the European quake agency, EMSC, estimated the magnitude at 4.3.
Civil protection squads were already on the island because of brushfires and more were arriving from the mainland.
Together with the nearby island of Capri, Ischia is a favorite island getaway for the European jet set, famed in particular for its thermal waters. Casamicciola was the epicenter of an 1883 earthquake that killed more than 2,000 people.
The quake hit a few days before the first anniversary of a major quake that killed nearly 300 people in central Italy, most of them in the town of Amatrice.
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