It was a sleepless night for many in north-eastern Italy as a 4.6-magnitude earthquake jolted the coast of Emilia-Romagna early on Tuesday.
Some fled their homes after the quake hit near the city of Ravenna shortly after midnight, followed by a large aftershock around half an hour later and smaller ones throughout the night.
The tremors were felt as far away as Bologna, as well as in the neighbouring regions of Veneto and Le Marche.
No casualties were reported and only minor damage has so far been detected. Ravenna ordered schools and universities to remain closed on Tuesday while authorities check that buildings are safe.
“Our region was struck by a very significant seismic event,” commented the mayor of Ravenna, Michele De Pascale, who said the quake was likely the city's largest in 30 years.
Many of those woken by the quake tweeted about the shock, comparing it to an explosion and saying they had feared buildings would fall.
— silvia scarpa (@silviascarpa88) January 14, 2019
Proprio in questo momento mega scossa di #terremoto qui in #romagna ho creduto venisse giu il palazzo mai sentito niente di simile mi sono letteralmente cagato addosso, sono paralizzato dalla paura ripeto mai sentito una roba simile
— LUCA (@lucablanco73) January 14, 2019
— Jonny Taylor (@JTVVV) January 14, 2019
The city's historic landmarks, including its Unesco-listed Byzantine churches, all appear to have survived intact, authorities said. The emergency services were continuing to check for damage on Tuesday.
The area is considered to be at high risk of seismic activity, according to Italy's National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV). The same region experienced a 4.5-magnitude earthquake in November 2018.
earthquake – un terremoto
aftershock – una replica (colloquial), una scossa di assestamento (scientific)
tremors – le scosse
minor damage – lievi danni
safe – sicuro
to tweet – twittare (tweeted: ha twittato)
landmarks – monumenti
emergency services – i primi soccorsi
at (high) risk – a(d alto) rischio
according to – secondo