Four earthquakes have struck the same region that was affected by earthquakes in 2016. The first earthquake struck the town of Montereale at around 10:25 a.m., according to the US Geological Survey. A second earthquake struck less than an hour after and only ten minutes had passed since a magnitude 5.3 earthquake struck the area again. A fourth earthquake hit the area hours later. The towns were under heavy snowfall before the four earthquakes and some were without electricity as the earthquakes happened.
The heavy snowfall prior to the earthquakes also made it difficult to access these towns as roads had been blocked. The earthquakes have also interrupted the mobile phone service, leaving the towns without any communication. Italy’s Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, said earlier today that it appeared that no one had lost their lives in the earthquakes but that it was a difficult day for the country. The defence ministry has said it will send army units to help the towns affected by the earthquakes.
The four earthquakes happened in just a few hours and throughout Wednesday, seismologists have registered more than 100 aftershocks. The earthquakes happened in the Central region, an area that was affected by a number of earthquakes in 2016. In Rome, public transportation was suspended after the earthquakes were felt in the city. The subway was quickly evacuated after the earthquake. The epicenters of the earthquakes were in the L’Aquila region, an area that struck by a magnitude 6.3 earthquake in 2009. The earthquake lasted around 20 seconds and 290 people lost their lives.
The snow in the area makes things worse as army units and rescue teams will have to find a way to the towns that have had their main roads blocked by the snow. Franco Campitelli, the Mayor of Canzano, said the situation is getting really extreme and that it’s snowing hard. He added that they are without electricity.
In 2016, a number of earthquakes struck Central Italy, killing nearly 300 people and leaving hundreds more injured. The earthquakes destroyed some of the old buildings in the area. The third earthquake was the largest in Italy in the last 36 years. In the town of Amatrice, which was affected by the earthquakes last year, parts of some structures collapsed.