Ferrari F12 BerlinettaEnlarge Photo
A new earthquake struck northern Italy this morning, killing 15 people and toppling buildings in the Emilia Romagna region. The quake, which measured 5.8 on the Richter scale, hit the Modena province at 9 a.m. local time.
Bloomberg News reports that the quake was centered near the towns of Cavezzo, Medolla and Mirandola, and was severe enough to temporarily halt production at automakers Ferrari and Maserati. Motorcycle manufacturer Ducati, recently purchased by Audi, also shut its factory in the wake of the temblor.
It’s not yet clear how long the respective factories will be shut down, or if the quake damaged infrastructure needed for production. The closing of the Ferrari and Maserati factories was confirmed by Fiat Chairman John Elkann.
The morning’s seismic event was followed by later aftershocks measuring between 4.9 and 5.3. The quake also destroyed factories in Mirandola and Medolla, and halted local train service pending inspection of the rails, bridges and tunnels.
A previous earthquake on May 20 killed seven people and caused over $251 million in damage near the town of Finale Emilia, also in northern Italy. Almost half of the country is seismically active, with some 2,000 minor earthquakes reported each year.
Update: Lamborghini also sent its workers home on Tuesday, following the quake. All three automakers have reported no significant damage to their factories, and production is expected to resume on Wednesday.