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1st LD Writethru: 4.9-magnitude quake hits central Italy, no casualty reported

ROME, Dec. 30 — A 4.9-magnitude quake hits central Italy on Sunday afternoon, followed by a series of aftershocks, causing fears but with no damages reported.

According to the Rome-based National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV), the quake was monitored at 6:08 p.m. local time (1708GMT) with the epicenter between the central regions of Molise and Campania.

The quake triggered panic along some parts in Campania region and its capital, the city of Naples, with crowds of people gathering on the streets.

The earthquake, with a depth of 10.5 km, was followed by at least nine aftershocks so far, all of which were less than 3.0 magnitude, said the INGV.

The fire squads were called by many of the region's residents, but no damages have been registered so far.

Located at the meeting point of the Eurasian Plate and the African Plate, Italy is characterized by considerable seismic and volcanic activity.

In 2009, a 5.9-magnitude quake struck the central town of L'Aquila, killing more than 300 people.(PNA/Xinhua)

LAM/JSD

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