Earthquake in northern Italy damages medieval churches

1. The earthquake which killed six people and left thousands homeless in Italy also caused irreparable damage to many much-loved churches, belltowers and castles that dot this historic region. Many of the destroyed buildings dated back to medieval times.

2. Among the dead was a woman of 106, killed in her bed by a falling roof beam at her house in the countryside.

3. The quake struck at 4:04 am on Sunday, with its epicentre about 35 kilometres (22 miles) north of Bologna at a relatively shallow depth of 5 kilometres (3.2 miles). Civil protection agency official Adriano Gumina described it as the worst to hit the region since the 1300s.

4. Sunday’s 6.0 magnitude quake reduced homes and historic buildings to rubble in the densely-populated Ferrara area, home to priceless architectural and art treasures.

5. Warehouses storing more than 300,000 wheels of Parmesan and Grana Padano, with an estimated value of more than 250 million euros, also collapsed.

6. A 14th century clock tower in Finale Emilia was split vertically as if hit by a meat cleaver when the quake struck…

7. …leaving only one half – showing the Roman numerals from seven to eleven – standing…

8. ….Further aftershocks completely flattened the tower

9. The earthquake hit an area of north-eastern italy, centred around the historic town of Finale Emilia

10. A woman cries immediately after an aftershock in Sant’Agostino

11. Firemen recover a painting from a destroyed church in the village of San Carlo