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Italy: earthquakes

Three strong earthquakes have been felt in central Italy in the space of an hour, with people in Rome saying they experienced the tremors.


The first quake at around 10.30am local time on Wednesday measured a magnitude of 5.4 and hit the region north of Amatrice, around 62 miles north of Rome, the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre said.


A second quake with a magnitude of 5.7 hit the same area about 50 minutes later, and 10 minutes later a third was measured at a magnitude of 5.3.


The metro in Rome has been evacuated, rail services are suspended and schools closed following the second quake after people reported feeling tremors there.


Emergency services deployed helicopters to check the impact of the quakes and the national civil protection agency was assessing the damage in villages closest to the epicentre.