Firefighters rescue a 65-year-old woman trapped under rubble from Tuesday's 5.8 magnitude earthquake in Italy. Msnbc.com's Dara Brown reports.
A 65-year-old woman was pulled out alive after lying for 12 hours in the rubble of her kitchen in an Italian town hit by Tuesday's deadly earthquake.
Firefighters told Sky TG24 TV that a piece of furniture, which had toppled over during the 5.8 magnitude quake that left 16 dead and 14,000 people homeless in the Emilia Romagna region north of Bologna, saved the woman from being crushed by the wreckage. She was taken to a hospital for treatment Wednesday.
The building in the town of Cavezzo had been damaged in a first quake, on May 20, and had been vacant since. The woman had just gone back inside it Tuesday morning to retrieve some clothes when the latest temblor knocked down the building, firefighters said.
By late Tuesday, the death toll throughout the region stood at 16, with one person missing: a worker at the machinery factory in the small town of San Felice Sul Panaro. Some 350 people also were injured.
A 5.8 tremor destroyed a number of buildings and killed at least 15 people. NBC's Jim Maceda reports.
Originally government officials had put the death toll at 17, and there was no immediate explanation for the lowered toll.
Factories, barns and churches fell, dealing a second blow to a region where thousands remained homeless from the May 20 temblor, much stronger in intensity, at 6.0 magnitude.
The two quakes struck one of the most productive regions in Italy at a particularly crucial moment, as the country faces enormous pressure to grow its economy to stave off the continent's debt crisis. Italy's economic growth has been stagnant for at least a decade, and the national economy is forecast to contract by 1.2 percent this year.
The area encompassing the cities of Modena, Mantua and Bologna is prized for its super car production, churning out Ferraris, Maseratis and Lamborghinis; its world-famous Parmesan cheese, and less well-known but critical to the economy: machinery companies.
AP / Luca Bruno
People stand in front of a collapsed building in Cavezzo, northern Italy, on Wednesday.
After the second earthquake, Italy's Prime Minister Mario Monti pledged that the government would do everything possible to restore normal life to the area, which he said was "so important, so productive for Italy," the BBC reported.
Government troops had been deployed to the quake-struck areas, and a cabinet meeting would planned for later on Wednesday, according to the BBC.
An 6.0 earthquake caused a violent tremor in Italy on Sunday, destroying historic buildings, including a cathedral. NBC's Stephanie Gosk reports.
The country's main business association warned on Wednesday that the earthquakes would have a prolonged impact on the region.
"The earthquakes in May, which had very serious effects on people's lives, will also have prolonged consequences for some of the most important industrial regions in Italy and for an area with strong manufacturing activity," business lobby Confindustria said in an economic report.
"This can only worsen an already very difficult situation," it said.
Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
More world news from msnbc.com and NBC News:
- Greek tragedy: Economic crisis sparks brain drain
- US expels Syria diplomat after UN finds Houla victims were 'executed'
- UN agency appoints Mugabe as a 'leader for tourism'
- Teenager allegedly held as slave in Bosnia for years
- Britain's PM eats humble pie over snack tax
- Brother of doctor who worked with CIA in bin Laden hunt seeks US protection
Follow us on Twitter: @msnbc_world