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Within hours, Italy’s organized crime syndicates were again blamed for corners cut in construction and faulty and nonexistent anti-seismic efforts.

Buildings in Rome wobbled and the city's underground metro system was shut as a precaution. Residents nearer the epicentre, which has been swept by snow storms and is some 100 kilometres north-east of Rome, rushed out into the streets as the series of tremors rattled the area.

ROME — Not even the dead can find peace after the disastrous earthquake last week that killed hundreds in the mountainous region in central Italy.

“I don’t want to rush to judgment, but if a building is built well, and if the anti-seismic standards have been met, a dramatic event such as we saw last week would damage or crack a building, but not cause it to pulverize or implode,” Roberti says.