Earthquakes strike central Italy

A series of strong earthquakes has rocked a wide area of central Italy, striking fear among residents rattled by a deadly tremor in August, but there were no reports of casualties and few serious injuries.

The three quakes, which struck about two hours apart from each other, caused the collapse of several old structures, including a number of historic rural churches that were empty at the time.

The first measured magnitude 5.4, the second 6.1 and the third 4.9, according to the US Geological Survey.

About five hours after the first quake, Civil Protection Department chief Fabrizio Curcio said tens of people were reported hurt but only four suffered serious, non-life threatening injuries.