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5.4 magnitude earthquake hits Italy

Matteo Renzi, Italy's prime minister, returned to Rome from Naples on Wednesday evening to be briefed by the country's civil protection agency
Italy Earthquake

Two powerful earthquakes Wednesday struck central Italy about 50 miles north of the site of a deadly quake in August that killed nearly 300 people, the US Geological Survey said.

The epicentre of both the quakes was in Visso, about 100 miles northeast of the capital, according to the US Geological Survey (USGS). Wednesday’s first quake carried a magnitude of  5.4 but the aftershock was even stronger, with a preliminary magnitude of 6.1.

Two people were injured in the Visso area, but otherwise there were no other immediate reports of victims, said Italy’s civil protection chief, Fabrizio Curcio.

Matteo Renzi, Italy’s prime minister, returned to Rome from Naples on Wednesday evening to be briefed by the country’s civil protection agency.

In a Twitter message, Mr Renzi thanked the emergency responders. “All of Italy is strongly hugging the populations hit again [by the earthquakes],” he added.

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