Photo by Emiliano Grillotti, Ansa

Four earthquakes have struck Central Italy on Wednesday. The first tremor was felt around 10:25 am local time and it made buildings as far as Rome and Florence shake. The US Geological Survey (USGS) measured the quake at magnitude 5.3, with the epicenter near Amatrice, in Central Italy at a depth of six miles. 50 minutes later a stronger 5.7 magnitude quake struck the area, and just another 10 minutes later, a third earthquake of magnitude 5.3 hit. The earthquakes were accompanied by more than 70 almost continuous tremors that shook the region, including several over magnitude 4. To make matters worse, much of the region is buried under a meter of snow, with little or no electricity and with roads that are blocked for the most part. Rescue efforts have been difficult because of the snow and road conditions: some rescue teams were forced to reach the hit areas with skis. 

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