Aftershocks after 2 powerful quakes in central Italy

A house was completely destroyed in the small town of Visso in central Italy, Thursday, Oct 27, 2016, after a 5.9 earthquake destroyed part of the town. A pair of strong aftershocks shook central Italy late Wednesday, crumbling churches and buildings, knocking out power and sending panicked residents into the rain-drenched streets just two months after a powerful earthquake killed nearly 300 people. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Powerful earthquakes strike Italy
01:21 - Source: CNN

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No deaths were reported, but historic buildings damaged in region

Aftershocks follow Wednesday's powerful quakes in central Italy

Campi, Italy CNN  — 

No deaths were reported Thursday in a part of central Italy rocked hours earlier by two powerful quakes, but the destruction of historic buildings led people to count the damage in the loss of their precious cultural heritage.

As dawn broke in the area, about 50 miles north of where a deadly quake killed nearly 300 people in August, rescuers were fearful of mudslides and wary about the risk of bringing heavy equipment up narrow roads linking the towns, villages and hamlets in this hilly region of the country.

The two temblors were followed by small aftershocks and one larger aftershock, measuring magnitude 4.3, which struck at 8:21 a.m. (2:21 a.m. ET) Thursday. There were no immediate reports of further damage resulting from that aftershock.

The second of the two quakes Wednesday – with a magnitude 6.1 – was 3.2 kilometers (2 miles) north of Visso and 58 kilometers (36 miles) from Perugia, the US Geological Survey reported.

Just a few hours earlier, a magnitude-5.5 quake struck the same region. The epicenter was about 9 kilometers away, south-southwest of the town of Visso. The first quake hit at 7 p.m. (1 p.m. ET) between Perugia and Macerata, according to ANSA.

The agency said a fire department helicopter would take off as soon as weather conditions allowed to rescue five people stranded overnight because of a landslide in Acquasanta.

There was significant damage to some buildings in Visso and another town, Campi, where the tremors destroyed the historic church, San Salvatore – the first severely damaged the 15th-century structure, and the second finished it off.

Residents, some with tears in their eyes, came to see what remained of San Salvatore, not only a part of the area’s cultural heritage but also of significance as the scene of baptisms, weddings and funerals.

One of the quakes leaves a house destroyed Thursday in the central Italian town of Visso.

Civil Protection Agency officials assisted one elderly man carrying a basket of flowers he wanted to leave at the cemetery.

Streetlights, likely powered by generators, remained on in Campi, but the town’s houses remained dark. In many small towns, in the pre-dawn hours, there is little light, further hampering rescue efforts – rescuers are forced to listen for people calling for help.

A post office is damaged in Visso following the quakes.

Local media said one man had suffered a heart attack.

Residents were uncertain as to what might happen next, and expressed worry that another, bigger tremor, might cause even more damage.

The USGS said both earthquakes were shallow.

The main square and church in nearby Norcia, a couple of miles to the south, were badly damaged, but the church was still standing.

Residents carry some of their belongings after part of Visso was destroyed.

Reminders of August quake

A child sleeps Wednesday in a secured area of Visso after the earthquakes.

The impact from Wednesday’s quakes was even felt in Rome.

Video recorded by CNN affiliate Rai television showed a road to Visso that was largely blocked by a massive boulder. Cars were having to drive carefully around it.

Stone buildings in the town also were heavily damaged.

CNN’s Barbie Nadeau reported from Campi, and James Masters reported and wrote in London.