According to international news sources, at least 150 people have died and over a thousand more are injured in central Italy after an earthquake struck near the town of L' Aquila, about 72 miles northeast from Rome. The 6.3-magnitude quake struck at 3:32 a.m. and damaged or destroyed many buildings in the area as well, some dating back as far as the 13th century.
Prime minister Silvio Berlusconi called for a state of emergency as many are declared homeless and the search for survivors buried under the rubble of the buildings continues on. This is the deadliest quake in the European peninsula since the 1980 quake in the south of Italy that killed more than 2,500 people.
The quake was actually predicted. According to Reuters news, Goiacchino Giuliani, from the National Institute of Astrophysics, drove around the area with a loudspeaker weeks ago, warning residents to evacuate. His prediction was based on the large amount of radon gas in the area. Giuliani was forced to stop and take down the information he posted on the Internet after authorities said he was "spreading alarm."
For a captivating slideshow of the event, visit the BBC.