Italy is often struck by earthquakes because the Eurasian and African tectonic plates grate against each other along a series of fault lines there. This was seen most recently when 29 people died in an avalanche that destroyed a hotel on Grand Sasso Mountain which is 135 km north east of Rome. Eleven people survived, with nine being pulled out from under the rubble and snow. Three sheepdog puppies were rescued 4 kilometres away from the hotel. The avalanche was triggered by a 5.3 magnitude earthquake.