6.2 magnitude earthquake hits central Italy leaving 2 dead


The southeast of Norcia, in central Italy, was hit with a magnitude 6.2 earthquake on Wednesday morning, leaving at least two people dead and others trapped in rubble.

Residents have fled their homes, taking to the streets in the wake of the quake which left buildings in ruins and some parts of the city without power.

The European Mediterranean Seismological Centre put the magnitude of the shallow quake at 6.1 while the US Geological Survey put it at 6.2

It is estimated to have struck after 3:30am at a depth of 6 miles and was felt across a broad section of central Italy, including the historic capital city of Rome where people in their homes felt a long swaying followed by aftershocks.

In the aftermath of the disaster, the mayor of Amatrice near Rieti, Sergio Perozzi, confirmed to the state-run RAI Radio 1 that buildings had collapsed and the lights had gone out.

He noted he was unable to get in touch with emergency responders or reach the hospital.

“What can I tell you? It’s a tragedy,” he said.

The aftershocks of the earthquake were still being felt across the whole of central Italy, Naples and Foggia as at the time of filing this report.

According to a twitter user-@GoldsteinStreet, the two casualties have been confirmed to be an old couple and the road to Amatrice is covered in rubble.

Meanwhile, USGS’s PAGER system, which predicts the impact of earthquakes, has issued a red alert suggesting significant casualties and damage based on previous quake data. So far, however, no new casualties have been reported.

Italy is earthquake prone. A 6.3-magnitude earthquake in the Aquila region in 2009, left more than 300 dead.