Sun, 20 May 2012 06:48 CDT
A 6.0-magnitude earthquake has rocked a swathes of northern Italy, killing at least four people.
Many historic buildings across Emilia Romagna were destroyed, with the government describing the damage to the region's cultural heritage as "significant".
Some 50 people were reportedly injured in the tremor, which caused thousands of others to flee into the streets.
Among the dead were two overnight workers at a ceramic factory that collapsed in Sant'Agostino, near Ferrara.
Italian media reported two more quake-related deaths, and there are fears that a number of people may still be buried under rubble.
Terrified residents tried to salvage whatever they could, as many decided to stay on the streets fearing new tremors.
The quake struck in the middle of the night, about 35km (22 miles) north of the city of Bologna.
There are fears that the death toll may rise further.
Vulnerable residents in Finale Emilia and other towns have been evacuated to shelters.