An earthquake measuring 5.8 on Richter scale hit the Italian region of Fossa close to the L'Aquila (Abruzzes) on Sunday to Monday night, killing dozens of people including children, according to HotNews.ro correspondent to Italy Miruna Cajvaneanu. Thousands of Rome citizens got out of their homes into the streets as people were afraid of aftershocks, according to the correspondent. Preliminary reports show there weren't any Romanian citizens among the victims in L'Aquila.
UPDATE: ANSA news agency announced 92 dead, quoting civil protection sources.
Italian President and prime minister declared a state of emergency following the quake and PM Berlusconi canceled a visit to Moscow in order to go to L'Aquila.
Medical sources quoted by the HotNews.ro correspondent put the preliminary number of victims at 27.
The correspondent quoted Raluca Stoica, wife of Romanian priest Iulian Stoica in L'Aquila, who said all Romanians she has spoken to were fine and there were no reports of victims among the Romanian community.
Maria Artene, first secretary of the Romanian Embassy to Rome, told HotNews.ro that according to preliminary information there were no Romanian victims following the earthquake but the Embassy was continuing checks among the Romanian community.
Early on Monday, President Giorgio Napolitano and PM Silvio Berlusconi signed a decree imposing state of emergency at national level following the earthquake. Authorities also blocked the A24 highway from Rome to Aquila to ease access of ambulances to the area.
The earthquake was felt in Rome, Pescara and on the Adriatic coast.