Earthquake felt across large parts of southern Italy

ROME Mon Jan 20, 2014 3:40am EST

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ROME (Reuters) - An earthquake shook southern Italy on Monday, sending residents onto the streets, but there were no immediate reports of injuries or serious damage.

The quake, measured by the U.S. Geological Survey at a magnitude of 4.4 and by Italian scientists at 4.2, was felt in the densely populated cities of Naples, Isernia and Benevento.

Italy's civil protection agency said it was looking into the extent of possible injuries and damage. The temblor hit the same rural area between the Campania and Molise regions where a 5.2 magnitude quake struck on December 29.

The epicenter was at a depth of 14.5 kilometers (9 miles) and struck at 8:12 a.m. (0712 GMT), the U.S. Geological Survey said.

(Reporting by Steve Scherer; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

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