Several people have been killed and many others are feared injured after a 6.2-magnitude earthquake hit central Italy at 09:36 BJT on Wednesday. (today)
The quake struck 76 kilometers southeast of the city of Perugia, at the very shallow depth of 10 kilometers, according to the USGS. The European Mediterranean Seismological Centre said the epicenter was near the Rieti region, northeast of the Italian capital of Rome.
The mayor of Rieti’s Accumoli said that four people killed had been killed as a result of the quake, while the mayor of nearby Amatrice told local media that residents are buried under debris and the town “isn’t here anymore.”
The full extent of casualties is not yet clear. However the USGS has issued a red alert, suggesting the casualties could be significant based on data from previous quakes.
Tremors were felt in the Italian capital of Rome, where some buildings shook for several seconds. Aftershocks were felt across central Italy.
Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s office said via social media that the government was in touch with regional heads of the civil protection agency.
The Italian fire department said they had received reports of buildings being damaged, but had no further details.
In 2009, a 6.3-magnitude earthquake struck the Aquila region, killing more than 300 people.
In May 2012, two major earthquakes occurred in northern Italy, causing 27 deaths and widespread damage.