A strong earthquake off the Adriatic coast near Pesaro, followed by a series of aftershocks, shook Marche province on Wednesday.
A moderate earthquake struck the northeastern coast of Italy on Wednesday morning. The 5.6-magnitude tremor occurred around 60 kilometres from Rimini, according to the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC).
It was felt as far away as Rome and in the northern regions of Veneto, Friuli and Trentino.
The biggest quake was a magnitude 5.7 one at 7:07. A magnitude 4 tremor rocked the region five minutes later.
Schools closed as precaution
Frightened people took to the streets due to fear of buildings collapsing. There were several cases of masonry breaking away and cracks appearing in walls. It prompted at least one private health clinic to evacuate.
Schools in many Marche cities closed as a precautionary measure on Wednesday. In addition, services along the Adriatic railway were suspended for a while.
Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s office said she was “in constant contact” with civil protection authorities and the head of the Marche region to follow developments.
In 2016, a deadly earthquake hit the Marche, Umbria and Lazio regions, killing 297 people and injuring hundreds of others.