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Churches destroyed in Italy earthquake

by Aaron James

A 73-year-old man died of a heart attack, possibly brought on by the quakes, local authorities told the ANSA news agency. There were other minor injuries.

The aftershocks from the August 24 quake also destroyed homes and knocked out power, with the regions of Umbria and Le Marche being the worst affected.

Homes in the town of Visso were so badly damaged they began spilling out onto the streets.

One of the churches destroyed was in the Perugian town of Norcia, also famous for its Benedictine monastery.

Residents of Ussita, central Italy, prepare to spend the night in tents early on Thursday

"It was an unheard-of violence. Many houses collapsed," the mayor of hard-hit Ussita, Marco Rinaldi, told Sky TG24.

"The facade of the church collapsed. By now I have felt many earthquakes. This is the strongest of my life. It was something terrible."

Premier Matteo Renzi, who cut short a visit to southern Italy to monitor the earthquake response, tweeted: "all of Italy is embracing those hit once again".

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