An earthquake will be hitting Rome today, according to Italian scientist Raffaele Bendandi.

The earthquake prediction was made more than 30 years ago, however, many Rome residents are taking the prediction seriously and thousands and thousands are expected to leave the city today.

La Repubblica, Italy’s second largest newspaper, says that 20 per cent fewer people will be attending Rome’s schools and offices today due to fears of the earthqauke.

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Meteorologist Bendandi,who died in 1979, believed earthquakes could be predicted by looking at the interaction between the planets, the moon and the sun, and he became famous after he successfully predicted an earthquake in 1923, which killed more than 1000 people.

To thank him for his research, Benito Mussolini made Bendandi a Knight of the Order of the Crown of Italy, in 1927.

Barman Fabio Mengarelli told Reuters: “I’m going to tell the boss I’ve got a medical appointment and take the day off’”.

”If I have to die, I want to die with my wife and kids, and masses of people will do the same as me.”

But not everyone is convinced by the predictions.

Actor and TV presenter Claudio Amendola, told the Independent:

“An earthquake in Rome. I don’t believe it.

“I’m staying in my city. The city’s eternal, it can’t be destroyed.”