Norcia after the earthquake

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Dozens of historic buildings have been destroyed or seriously damaged by the 6.6 magnitude quake. It was the most powerful earthquake to hit Italy since 1980, striking a blow to the regions of Marche and Umbria just days after they were hit by two other earthquakes. It also frightened and displaced thousands of already-jittery residents who have seen the ancient structures and walls in their towns, including the San Benedetto basilica in Norcia, which is considered a sacred site, crumble into heaps on the street.The basilica is said to have been built in the first century atop the birthplace of St. Benedict; it attracts about 50,000 visitors a year.

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