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  Thursday, July 9, 2020
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At least 20 people, including five children, have been confirmed
At least 20 people, including five children, have been confirmed dead after a powerful earthquake hit central Italy's Abruzzo region on Monday, Italian police said.

The earthquake struck the mountainous region northeast of Rome at around 3:32 a.m. local time (01:32 GMT) and was followed shortly afterwards by a strong aftershock measuring 4.7 on the Richter scale.

A source in a hospital said the death toll in the earthquake has risen to 27.

Another 30 people are still missing and the death toll is expected to rise, police said, adding that 15-20 people were still trapped under the rubble of a residential building in the regional capital of L'Aquila.

The earthquake also damaged up to 10,000 houses.

Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has declared a state of emergency in the wake of the tragedy, described by Italian officials as "the major disaster of the new millennium."

Berlusconi, who was due to arrive in Moscow on Monday to discuss trade and economic cooperation as head of a 900-member Italian business delegation, has canceled the trip.


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