Earthquake hits near Rome

A 3.7-magnitude earthquake struck near Rome on Sunday evening, the Italian geophysics institute said

A 3.7-magnitude earthquake struck near Rome on Sunday evening, the Italian geophysics institute said, with local media reporting it caused no damage.

The epicentre of the quake was near Colonna, a small city around 30 kilometres east of Rome.

There was no noticeable damage or injuries from the tremor, local media said citing the civil protection service and witnesses.

Many residents of Colonna and surrounding areas did leave their homes after the quake hit at 8:43pm.

It was at a shallow nine kilometres deep which explains why the quake was felt even though it was of moderate magnitude, experts said.

Rome is not directly situated in a zone of strong seismic activity, but stronger earthquakes in the neighbouring Abruzzi region have often been felt in the Italian capital.

Witnesses in Rome took to social media to speak of their shock at the earthquake, which has been described as minor.

“Thank god I was on the ground floor and didn’t feel it too badly, though it gave me a fright. It’s awful when you’re on a higher floor," teacher Alexandra Turney tweeted out.

The Richter scale suggests earthquakes of that size are “often felt by people” but it says that they “rarely cause damage” but the “shaking of indoor objects can be noticeable”.

Independent scientific group EMSC said that around three million citizens will have felt the large tremors.

The organisation also claims that it was “widely felt in the Eternal City”.

The US Geological Survey advised residents that the quake was also felt by locals in Croatia and nearby San Marino.

They initially believed it was a 4.1 magnitude earthquake.

Locals also told the service that they had seen buildings “shaking lightly”.

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