A strong earthquake rocked northern Italy early Sunday killing at least three people and causing damage to a church, factory buildings and other infrastructure.
According to US Geological Survey (USGS) the earthquake has a magnitude of 6.0 which occurred in the region of Northern Italy.
The earthquake struck at 04:03:52 AM, Sunday May 20. It was located at 44.800°N, 11.192°E with a depth of 5.1 km (3.2 miles).
USGS said the earthquake was 36 km (22 miles) NNW of Bologna, Italy and 39 km (210 miles) NNW of Rome.
Reuters reports one person died when a factory collapsed while two others perished when a ceramics factory also collapsed.
According to the report, thousands of people in the town of San Felice Sul Panaro, near the epicenter, have rushed to the streets for safety as the major towns in the affected areas including the towns of Bologna, Modena, Ferrara, Rovigo, Verona and Mantua, were shaken.
CNN reported the quake knocked down a church bell in the town of San Agostino.
Authorities have ordered evacuation of patients from hospitals in the area as aftershocks that register as high as 5.0 magnitude continue to occur.
Italy had a major earthquake in 2009 which killed at least 300 people in the central town of L'Aquila.