Via the Telegraph:
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.
Massimo La Rocca, headmaster of a school in the Trastevere district, said: “We have had quite a few parents calling in and saying they will not be sending their children in.