Quake destroys buildings on Italian island of Ischia, at least 1 dead

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A small earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 4.5 has struck an island off the Italian city of Naples, causing multiple buildings to collapse, officials and witnesses say. At least one person has been killed and others are missing.

The earthquake, which struck at 8:57 p.m. local time on Monday, was centered about 1 kilometer (3,300 feet) west of Ischia, which is a small but densely-populated volcanic island just southwest of Naples.

The European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) said the earthquake had a preliminary magnitude of 4.3 and struck almost directly below the surface. Italy’s Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV) put the magnitude slightly lower, at 4.0.

Photos and videos from the island showed collapsed buildings and streets covered in rubble. The town of Casamicciola, which is located on the northern part of the island, appeared to have suffered the most serious damage.

Residents and visitors to the island fled their homes and hotels after the earthquake, which also caused power outages. Ischia, which is home to about 62,000 people, is a popular destination for tourists who visit the thermal spas on the island.

Italian news agency AGI reported that an elderly woman was killed when a church collapsed in Casamicciola. It was not immediately clear if anyone else had been killed, but the newspaper La Stampa reported that 10 people remain unaccounted-for and at least 25 others have been injured.

Casamicciola was devastated by a shallow earthquake of unknown magnitude in July 1883. The earthquake destroyed more than 80 percent of the area’s houses, killing more than 2,300 people. The damage was limited to an area no more than 3 kilometers (1.8 mile) wide.

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