Three earthquakes struck central Italy on Wednesday in short succession. Tremors were felt in the capital, Rome. Some buildings collapsed in Amatrice and Accumoli, in areas that had been previously evacuated after deadly earthquakes in the region last year.
Trains were suspended in central Italy on Wednesday, and the Metro and schools in Rome and Rieti were evacuated.
The first tremor, with a preliminary magnitude of 5.3, hit the region north of Amatrice at about 10:25 a.m. (0925 GMT), according to the US Geological Survey (USGS). A second quake with a magnitude of 5.7 hit the same area about 50 minutes later, and 10 minutes later a third was measured at magnitude 5.3.
The USGS said the epicentre of all the quakes was 5 to 7 km from Amatrice, at a depth of 10 kilometres.
The Civil Protection authority and rescue services are assessing the damage. But snowstorms in central Italy are hampering operations.
The tremors were felt across central Italy, an area devastated by tremors last year. Close to 300 people were killed in August when an historic region was hit, causing significant damage to older buildings.