Italians evacuate Rome over 'big one' fears
Italians will on Wednesday evacuate Rome over fears a giant earthquake is coming following a seismologist's 1915 prediction that "the big one" would hit the capital on May 11, 2011.
Businesses have reported requests from one in five people to have time off work and many are also keeping children away from school and heading to the beach or country for the day.
Romans are taking it so seriously that local newspapers have even been publishing survival guides with tips of what to do – if – the ground starts to tremble.
The panic has been fanned by Facebook, Twitter and text messages around a prediction by Raffaele Bendani, a seismologist who forecast in 1915 that a "big one" would hit Rome on Wednesday.
He is also said to have predicted other earthquakes which hit Italy during the last hundred years before his death in 1979....
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