A series of strong earthquakes have hit central Italy,  including the capital Rome, forcing schools to be evacuated and rail links to close, although there were no immediate reports of serious damage or injury.
The multiple tremors, including three above magnitude five, were clustered around a region which was battered by a spate of deadly quakes last year.
Buildings in Rome wobbled and the city's underground metro system was shut as a precaution. Schools across the capital were also closed.
Residents nearer the epicentre, which has been swept by snowstorms and is some 100km northeast of Rome, rushed out into the streets as the series of tremors rattled the area.

However, snowstorms were making it hard to reach parts of the Lazio, Marche and Abruzzi regions to assess the situation, and Italian prime minister Paolo Gentiloni said soldiers would be called out to help teamsget through to some villages.

The US Geological Survey said the three strongest earth quakes had a magnitude of 5.3, 5.7 and 5.3. They all struck within the space of about an hour.
Each was at a depth of about 10km and were roughly 7km from the town of Amatrice, which was flattened by a powerful tremor last August.

The 24 August quake killed 300 people and destroyed thousands of homes and businesses.

More than 45,000 aftershocks have since rattled the region, including a 6.6 magnitude quake in October, the biggest tremor to strike Italy for 36 years.

The bell tower of Amatrice, which had been badly damaged last year, finally collapsed today, local media said.

The recent quakes have reshaped more than 600sqkm of land, lowering areas around the epicentre by up to 70cm, according to data released by Italy's National Institute for Geophysics and Volcanology.