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Three earthquakes hit central Italy in space of hour

Students and teachers stand outside a highschool after it was evacuated following three earthquakes which hit central Italy in the space of an hour Picture by Massimo Percossi/ANSA via AP

Three earthquakes have hit central Italy in the space of an hour, with tremors felt in the capital.

There were no immediate reports of casualties.

The first quake, with a preliminary magnitude of 5.3, hit the region north of Amatrice at about 10.25am (9.25 Irish time), according to the US Geological Survey.

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 mountainous Amatrice region was shaken by three quakes last year, killing nearly 300 people and causing significant damage to older buildings.

The region is about 62 miles north-east of Rome.

Antonio Tajani, an Italian politician who is president of the European Parliament, said tremors were "felt as far as Rome [but it] appears there are no victims".

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