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Italy quake nightmare returns in deep mid-winter.

MONTEREALE (Italy) (AFP) - Earthquakes brought an icy chill of terror to snowbound central Italy on Wednesday as four powerful shocks reverberated through an area still recovering from deadly tremors last year.

The quakes, all measuring more than five magnitude, struck in the space of four hours in an area close to Amatrice, the mountain town devastated by an August earthquake that left nearly 300 people dead.

There were no reports of casualties on Wednesday but there were fears for isolated residents of remote hamlets cut off by heavy snowfall as night fell.

More than 130,000 homes were without electricity.

Fears for the trapped intensified after a mother and child were dragged from the ruins of a collapsed country cottage near Teramo in the Abruzzo region.

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