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Italy's southern Molise region rocked by 4.6 earthquake

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Italy's southern Molise region rocked by 4.6 earthquake
Rural Molise in south-eastern Italy. Photo by Lorenzo Lamonica on Unsplash

A powerful earthquake shook the southern Italian region of Molise just before midnight on Tuesday, though no damage was reported.

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The earthquake hit at 11.52pm local time and reached a magnitude of 4.6, with the epicentre near the city of Campobasso in the Molise region, according to the Italian National Institute of Geophysics and Vulcanology.

READ ALSO: Which parts of Italy have the highest risk of earthquakes?

An initial report from the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre said it was a magnitude 5.4 quake but the Italian Geophysics and Volcanology Institute (INGV) put it at 4.6.

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The quake's epicentre was in Montagano, near the city of Campobasso, at a depth of around 23 kilometres (14.3 miles), the INGV said.

The Italian fire brigade tweeted that there had been no calls for help and no damage had been immediately detected.

"Luckily, from a first reconnaissance lap, the situation seems good: no particular damage has been reported," the mayor of Montagano, Giuseppe Tullo, said in a video posted on social media.

"Checks will have to be carried out in more detail, obviously. Many people took to the streets: there was so much fear... The shock was felt very strongly."

He said schools in the surrounding area would be closed on Wednesday while checks are carried out.

The quake was also reportedly felt in the surrounding regions of Campania, Abruzzo, Puglia and lower Lazio.

It followed a smaller 3.2 magnitude quake recorded in the same area on Monday.

Italy is among the European countries most at risk from earthquakes, according to mapping by the European Facilities for Earthquake Hazard and Risk (EFEHR).

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