Children pulled alive from rubble following Italian earthquake

Several buildings - including a church - collapsed after the quake hit the Italian resort of Ischia

Children pulled alive from rubble following Italian earthquake

Firefighters and rescuers pull out a boy, Mattias, from the collapsed building in Casamicciola, on the island of Ischia, near Naples, Italy 22-08-2017. Firefighters earlier freed his 7-month-old baby brother from the rubble. Image: Italian Carabinieri, HO/ANSA via AP

Updated 12:10

A baby has been pulled alive from the rubble of a house after an earthquake struck the Italian holiday island of Ischia.

At least two people have died and several are trapped under rubble after a 4.0 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Naples.

The seven-month-old boy had been trapped with his family for seven hours following the 4.0-magnitude tremor on Monday.

The boy's older brother has also been rescued - while emergency services are hopeful a third will soon be freed from the rubble.

Firefighters are continuing to try to reach his two brothers, aged five and seven, who are said to be responding to rescuers and have been given bottles of water.

The quake struck at around 9pm local time, killing an elderly woman who was inside a church when the tremor caused it to collapse.

Dozens of others were injured and taken to hospital.

Most trapped residents - including the three children - were responding to rescue crews and were expected to be pulled out alive, according to police.

Tourists and residents on the island off the coast of Naples ran out on to the narrow streets from their homes and hotels, with many leaving the island.

At least 14 aftershocks were felt, leading locals and holidaymakers to become concerned about further tremors.

Civil protection crews - who were already present on the island to fight the recent forest fires - are now examining buildings to assess damage.

One local man said the tremor felt like a "bomb explosion" and said there was a power cut.

Another witness wrote on Twitter: "A horrible experience, everything was shaking, plunged into darkness, houses were collapsing... a nightmare."

The island is crowded with tourists at this time of the year, at the height of the summer season.

Helicopters and a ferry boat brought in more rescue workers from the mainland, and three extra ferries were provided during the night for about 1,000 residents and tourists who wanted to leave or end their holidays early.

The earthquake came two days before the first anniversary of the devastating 6.2-magnitude tremor that killed almost 300 people, including three Britons.

Italy is one of the most seismically active in Europe, sitting at the meeting point of two tectonic plates, which continue to move at a rate of around 3cm a year.