Earthquake temporarily halts Italian league match

PESCARA, Italy (AP) " A top-level soccer match between Pescara and Atalanta was temporarily halted when a second earthquake in the space of two hours struck central Italy on Wednesday, sparking terror among the fans.

There had been an earthquake with a magnitude of 5.4 about 90 minutes before kickoff and a second one, measuring 6.1, occurred 32 minutes into the Serie A match in Pescara.

There was panic as the stands shook for more than 10 seconds and many spectators left the stadium.

"At the time we didn't realize anything, because we were moving," Pescara defender Hugo Campagnaro said. "Then, once we heard the fans shouting and saw people leaving, we understood."

The match was suspended for about four minutes before resuming in a surreal atmosphere. Atalanta went on to win 1-0.

"We didn't feel anything on the pitch," Atalanta defender Mattia Caldara said. "But my teammates told me that the substitutes' bench shook."

The epicenter of both tremors was registered in the Valnerina valley, a mountainous area between the cities of Macerata and Perugia, the capital of the Umbria region, about 180 kilometers (110 miles) from the Stadio Adriatico.

Central Italy had already gone through a powerful quake only two months ago.

On Aug. 24, the regions of Lazio and Marche were hit by a 6.0-magnitude earthquake. Some 298 people were killed and 400 injured, while several thousands were left displaced.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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