Azores earthquake toll put at more than 50

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More than 50 persons are reported killed in a major earthquake that struck the Azores Islands New Year's Day. Officers at a US Air Force base in this Atlantic archipelago reported to Washington that 400 people were injured in the quake, which measured 8.0 on the Richter scale, according to the Portuguese National Institute of Meteorology and Geophysics.

Communications with the Azores were seriously disrupted by the quake and there were differing reports on the extent of material damage -- particularly at the vast Lajes Air Force Base, which is shared by Portugal and the United States.

Thousands were reported homeless, however.

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