Earthquake hits Italy

An earthquake in northern Italy has killed at least seven people and caused serious damage to buildings in several towns on 20 May 2012.  The magnitude-6.0 quake struck in the middle of the night, about 35km (22 miles) north of the city of Bologna. The tremor caused "significant damage to the cultural heritage" of Emilia Romagna region.
What caused earthquakes?
Why are some earthquakes more damaging?
Just look at this earthquake which occur recently and find out how the people are affected.

At least 17 people perished in a strong earthquake that struck in northern Italy near where a more powerful seismic jolt had killed seven others on May 20.
Which are the cities affected by the earthquake?

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