Two strong earthquakes hit central Italy on Wednesday, measuring 5.5 magnitude and 6.1 magnitude, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS). The tremors were reported in the same area where a massive quake in August had resulted in a loss of 300 lives.
Reports state that many buildings have collapsed in the fresh quakes and two people have been reported injured. There are no reports of any causalities yet. Fearing the August calamity in the region, the authorities rushed to assess the situation in the quake-hit regions. The epicentre of both the earthquakes was near the village of Visso in the central Marche area.
The earthquakes, which followed one after the other in a span of two hours, were felt in the capital Rome. The second earthquake was felt in Venice and Naples.
"Many houses have collapsed. Our town is finished. The second quake was a long, terrible one," Marco Rinaldi, mayor of Ussita, told Sky Italy television by telephone.
"I've felt a lot of earthquakes but that was the strongest I've ever felt. Fortunately everyone had already left their homes after the first quake so I don't think anyone was hurt," Rinalidi was quoted as saying by PTI.
The quakes sent panicked residents rushing out of their homes into the streets for safety. The headquarters of foreign ministry were also evacuated.
"For the moment, there are two people injured in Visso. Collapses and damage have also been reported," the civil protection department said.
"There is no electricity. There are bound to be house collapses. On top of this there are torrential rains," Castel Sant'Angelo's mayor Mauro Falcucci told Sky.
A strong earthquake in August this year, measuring 6.2 magnitude, in the mountain town of Amartice destroyed villages and killed at least 297 people. Hundreds of people were injured in the earthquake.