Two powerful earthquakes struck Central Italy hours apart on Wednesday. The first, a 5.5-magnitude one, occurred at 7.10 pm (local time) near Visso in Macerata province, while a more powerful second one of magnitude 6.1 on the Richter scale struck the same region two hours later. There are no reports of fatalities so far, BBC reported.
"Tens" of people were reported hurt, but only four sustained serious injuries, according to the chief of Italy's Civil Protection, Fabrizio Curcio. Camerino town is believed to have been considerably damaged, though the extent of damage will remain unclear till daylight hours. "Everyone is leaving Camerino by foot or car to seek safety. Two churches are destroyed and many houses [have] fallen," a resident said.
The 15th-century San Salvatore church in Campo, which had been weakened by the earthquake in the country in August, collapsed after Wednesday's quake. Several aftershocks were also felt in the region. There were reports of affected power lines, damage to historic buildings and a landslide on a main road north of Rome, as well. Schools in the region will remain closed on Thursday, according to BBC.
At least 280 people had died after an earthquake of magnitude 6.2 on the Richter scale had struck central Italy on August 24. More than 1,050 aftershocks had followed the powerful temblor, and Italian officials believe Wednesday's earthquakes were connected with the one two months ago. "Aftershocks can last for a long time, sometimes for months," Mario Tozzi of Italy's National Institute of Geophysics told AFP. Amatrice, located 70 km from Visso, had been the worst hit by the August quake.