ROME (AP) — Different seismological agencies are reporting significantly different magnitudes for the earthquake that struck the Italian resort island of Ischia.
Italy’s national vulcanology department gave a preliminary magnitude of 3.6.
But the U.S. Geological Survey put the magnitude at 4.3, while the European-Mediterranean Seismological Center put it at 4.5. All of them gave the epicenter just off Ischia with at a depth of 10 kilometers.
While such variances are common, some Italian officials are complaining that the Italian agency’s initially low 3.6 magnitude underestimated the power of the quake.
Several buildings collapsed in the town of Casamicciola and at least one person was killed.
The earthquake killed at least one person and trapped a half-dozen others, including children, under collapsed homes.
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 increase, said Giovanni Salerno of the financial police.
Italy’s national volcanology institute said the temblor struck a few minutes before 9 p.m., just as many people were having dinner. The hardest-hit area was Casamicciola, on the northern part of the island.
At least one hotel and parts of a hospital were evacuated. A doctor at the Rizzoli hospital, Roberto Allocca, told Sky TG24 that some 26 people were being treated for minor injuries at a makeshift emergency room set up on the hospital grounds. He said the situation was calm and under control.
Salerno confirmed one woman was killed by falling masonry. At least three people were extracted from the rubble, the civil protection said.
Civil protection crews, already on the island in force to fight the forest fires that have been ravaging southern Italy, were checking the status of the buildings that suffered damage.
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.
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