As a series of powerful earthquakes rocked Central Italy, officials have started evacuating the metro system and certain schools in Italy’s capital Rome. The first tremor, measuring 5.3 magnitude, was felt in Central Italy, 7 kilometers west-northwest of Amatrice. Although the epicenter of the earthquake was 90 kilometers northeast of Rome, people felt the shocks quite strongly and many were seen rushing out of buildings in a state of panic.
The initial tremor occurred at 10:25 am (4:25 am ET) at a depth of 10 kilometers. After this, six aftershocks were recorded in the same area, one of which was even stronger than the initial quake at 5.7 magnitude.
As of now, no damage or causalities have been reported. However, firefighters working on the scene have told that heavy snow on the roads is hampering their ability to carry out a thorough assessment. Approximately 850 firefighters have been pressed into service to carry out search and rescue operations.
In the town of Amatrice, the epicenter of the quake, Officials are currently looking out for cracks or damages caused to buildings and other structures. Last year, around 300 people were killed in an earthquake that occurred in central Italy. Most of Amatrice’s center was reduced to rubble in that quake.