They must have hoped it was a bad dream. But, as survivors of Italy’s earthquake woke up after their first bitterly cold night out in the open, the grim reality of their plight was all around.
Breakfast would have brought some relief but the thousands made homeless are facing an uncertain future. Amid the tents and makeshift shelters, people are aware of the solidarity shown at home and abroad. “We are all with you” said one newspaper headline. But those caught up in this ordeal are under no illusions. “It will be very difficult. We will see,” one man said. Added to the misery is the anguish of not knowing the fate of loved ones and the fear of further tragedy. As people sheltered in tent camps, aftershocks rattled the region well into the night. Not everyone is out in the open. Many have left the area to stay with friends and family. Hotels on the Adriatic coast have also been requisitioned. Some slept in their cars, with what belongings they had. For them, Italy’s national emergency is a personal tragedy.