Powerful Italy quake spares lives, but strikes at identity


NORCIA, Italy — The third powerful earthquake to hit Italy in two months spared human life Sunday but struck at the nation’s identity, destroying a Benedictine cathedral, a medieval tower and other beloved landmarks that had survived the earlier jolts across a mountainous region of small historic towns.

Lost or severely damaged were ancient Roman walls, Gothic and Baroque churches and centuries-old paintings crushed beneath tons of brick and sandstone and marble.

Italian Premier Matteo Renzi said the nation’s “soul is disturbed” by the series of quakes, starting with the deadly Aug. 24 shaking that killed nearly 300 people, two back-to-back temblors on Oct. 26, and the biggest of them all, a 6.6-magnitude quake that shook people out of bed Sunday morning. It was the strongest quake to hit Italy in 36 years.

There were no reports of fatalities — a fact that experts attributed to the evacuation of sensitive areas and fragile city…



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