Two quakes jolt southern Italy

Rome, Sep 12 (IANS/AKI) A magnitude 2.9 undersea earthquake struck off Italys’ Calabrian coast early on Tuesday and was followed several hours later by a magnitude 2 quake in the Sicilian province of Messina.

The first tremor was recorded at 0.44 am at 11 km depth, off Calabria’s western coast in the province of Cosenza, Italy’s National Insitute of Geology and Vulcanology (INGV) reported.

The second temblor struck at 4.59 am in the province of Messina and the towns closest to the quake’s epicentre were Basico, Oliveri and Falcone, INGV said.

There were no immediate reports of casualties or damage in either earthquake.

A magnitude 4 earthquake killed at least two people, injured 39 and left 2,600 homeless on the seismically active resort island of Ischia off Naples last month. The Ischia quake came almost a year to the day after a powerful 6.2-magnitude earthquake devastated several towns in central Italy on August 24, 2016, killing 297 people and leaving several thousand homeless.

The earthquake set off a months-long series of powerful aftershocks that depopulated towns and hamlets in the area and is believed to have triggered a deadly avalanche in the central Abruzzo region in January that killed 29 people at a ski hotel.

Earthquakes are a common occurrence in Italy, which is criss-crossed by seismically active fault lines.

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