The number of people killed in the two earthquakes that hit northern Italy in late May has risen to 26, following the latest deaths of two women who have died in hospital.
The north east of the country has been hit by another tremor, causing a 4.5 magnitude quake, with the epicentre off the coast of Ravenna.
A connection to the other two quakes is being investigated.
Gianluca Valensise from the Sismologo dell’Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia said: “There’s a link, at least because they’re in the same, general geodynamic system. This quake took place at the very eastern part where the previous ones originated. We need a while to understand if there’s a stronger link”.
The new tremor on Wednesday morning happened at a depth of 25 kilometres out in the Adriatic Sea and Ravenna escaped heavy damage, with only a few buildings and walls suffering cracks.
However, authorities took the decision to demolish a church bell tower built in 1907 because of damage it sustained during the first two earthquakes.
The controlled explosion happened in the town of Poggio Renatico in Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region.