7.1 magnitude earthquake strikes central Italy

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BELGRADE – A powerful 7.1 magnitude earthquake has hit central Italy, Reuters reports citing the United States Geological Survey and local broadcasters. This comes only three days after two more tremors shook the region on Wednesday, leaving villages partly destroyed.

There were no immediate reports on damage or casualties caused by the quake.

However, local RAI TV reports that the tremor was powerful enough to wake the residents of the capital Rome, who reported walls of the buildings shaking.

Initial reports on the magnitude of the tremors varied – while USGS and Italian media talked of a 7.1-strong earthquake, the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) said the tremor was 6.6 magnitude.

Italy’s National Commission for the Forecast and Prevention of Major Risks (CGR) cautioned Friday that more powerful earthquakes could hit the region in the nearest future, identifying at least three areas at risk for further seismic activity.

“There is no current evidence that the (seismic) sequence underway is coming to an end,” the commission warned.

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