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Earthquake of 5.4 magnitude strikes central Italy

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Three strong earthquakes have been felt in central Italy in the space of an hour, with people in Rome saying they experienced the tremors.

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 a magnitude of 5.3.

There were no immediate reports of injuries in today's quake but some damage was reported at Amatrice when an aftershock measuring 3.2 on the scale hit some minutes after the main tremor.

Small tremors have reportedly been felt in Rome for several weeks but Wednesday's was the biggest seismic event in several months.

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The epicentre is said to be in Montereale, l'Aquila province, around 90 kilometres north-east of Rome. The quake occurred at a depth of 9 km.

At least 308 people died when a magnitude 5.8 natural disaster struck near L'Aquila in 2009.

An quake has struck Italy, shaking buildings in Rome and Florence just months after nearly 300 people were killed in one of the worst disasters in living memory. The worst of which struck in August, claiming 299 lives and injuring almost 400.

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