The largest earthquake to strike Italy in 36 years occurred early Sunday morning near the town of Norcia, Italy (population ~5,000). Its magnitude measured Mw6.6 with a depth of approximately 5km in the Apennine Mountains. This larger event was estimated to have shaken the town of Norcia with MMI VIII (severe) local ground shaking intensity.
Earlier in the week two moderate earthquakes, occurring hours apart, also caused damage in the region on October 26th. They were Mw5.5 and Mw6.1 within 10km of Sunday’s earthquake. These recent October earthquakes are considered related to the deadly August 24th, 2016 Amatrice event (Mw6.2).
Italian National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV) seismologists consider these earthquakes from August until September to be an ongoing complex sequence of events. Similar sequences were observed in other regions of Italy in 1783 Calabria (Southern Italy) and 1997 Assisi (Central Italy).
Because of the timing of the earthquake at 7:40 in the morning and evacuations from the October 26th earthquakes, casualties are reportedly minimal. Like the August Amatrice event, much of the building damage is severe for historical buildings and churches.