Rome, with its close distance to the epicenter, which was around 62 miles northeast of the country's capital, promptly shut down its metro system as a precaution, and evacuated its schools and museums.
Several towns and hamlets in the quake zone had already sounded the alarm in recent days that they were without electricity and were isolated from highways due to the unusually heavy snowfall that has blanketed much of central Italy. The first quake measured a magnitude of 5.4 and was 60 miles north of Rome, the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre confirmed. The four quakes caused buildings to collapse but miraculously resulted in a relativelly small number of deaths or injuries.
The tower of one of Amatrice's churches was toppled in the earthquakes. Additionally, according to the Global Earthquake Activity Rate (GEAR) model, this earthquake should not be considered surprising.
The Wednesday tremor is the third major natural disaster in Italy in less than half a year.
The quakes, which had their epicentres in the L'Aquila region, were felt as far away as Rome, 150 kilometres (100 miles) to the southwest. In August, a 6.2 magnitude quake largely wiped out towns and killed at least 240, according to the New York Times. The Mayor of Amatrice announced after the quake, "The town is gone".
This Is What A $250 Million House Looks Like: Tour
If the property does sell for its $250 million asking price, it will become the most expensive home ever sold in L.A. The sheer footprint of the mansion, spread across 38,000 square feet, is a sight to behold.
The October earthquakes reportedly shook Rome's world heritage ancient buildings, including the Colosseum and Pantheon, and some of the damage has not yet been repaired.
Italy is still recovering from last year's earthquakes and related aftershocks. "The snow is two metres deep in some areas", he told SkyTG 24 television.
"We will provide all kinds of efforts, instruments, helps at our disposal because I think that in that matter, as in the migration matter, Italy can not be left alone", he said.
Italy straddles the Eurasian and African tectonic plates, making it vulnerable when they move.