The crisis unit of the Italian culture ministry is working to verify the damage caused to heritage sites by two strong earthquakes that struck central Italy yesterday evening (26 October). The 5.4-magnitude and 5.9-magnitude tremors near Visso in the Marche region follow a 6.2-magnitude earthquake that destroyed the town of Amatrice, 70km to the south, on 24 August, killing at least 295 people. The impact was felt in Rome, Naples and the Veneto coast, according to Italian press reports.
The church of San Salvatore in Campi di Norcia, which already bore the cracks of the August quake, has collapsed. It contained important 15th-century frescoes. The rose window and part of the faade of the Basilica of SantEutizio in Preci, and other religious buildings in the village, have also been severely damaged. The bell tower of the church of Santa Maria in Via in Camerino collapsed over a block of flats, but there were no victims, the mayor Gianluca Pasqui told Rainews24. Further damage to churches and historical buildings were reported in San Ginesio, Castelsantangelo sul Nera, Ussita and Amandola.
Meanwhile, more than 1,200 works of art evacuated from the disaster zone of the August earthquake by the culture ministrys crisis task force have been stored in Cittaducale in the Lazio region. The culture minister Dario Franceschini, who visited yesterday, announced that he would soon name a superintendent to manage the areas affected by the quake.