Strong earthquake 6.3r strikes central Italy

A strong earthquake (terremoto) with a preliminary magnitude of 5.9 has struck central Italy, just hours after a smaller earthquake shook the same region, seismologists and residents say. Tremors have been felt as far away as the capital Rome. The largest earthquake, which struck at 9:18 p.m. local time on Wednesday, was centered about 39 kilometers northwest of Ascoli Piceno, or 63 kilometers east of Perugia. It struck at a depth of about 8 kilometers, making it a very shallow earthquake.

Italy’s seismological agency INGV put the preliminary magnitude of the earthquake at 5.9, while the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre put the magnitude at 6.3. It said shaking had been felt widely across Italy, with tremors also being felt in the capital Rome, about 140 kilometers away. The earthquake came just hours after a smaller but very shallow earthquake shook the region. That earthquake, which had a preliminary magnitude of 5.4, was centered about 39 kilometers northwest of Ascoli Piceno, or 62 kilometers east of Perugia.

Residents near the epicenter fled out onto the street after the first earthquake, and the mayor of Castelsantangelo sul Nera told Italian media that he thought damage was likely, though he provided no specific details. There was no immediate word about damage or casualties from the second earthquake. Residents in some parts of Croatia, Slovenia and Bosnia-Herzegovina also reported feeling light earthquake tremors as a result of both earthquake.

There was no immediate word on damage or casualties as a result of Wednesday’s earthquakes, which came just months after a strong earthquake struck the same region, killing nearly 300 people and injuring hundreds more. This is a breaking news alert. Please check back or follow @BNONews on Twitter as details become available. If you want to receive breaking news alerts by email, click here to sign up. You can also like BNO News on Facebook by clicking here.