Thousands of people, too scared to return home, spent the night in tents as more than 30 aftershocks hit the northern Italian region of Emilia-Romagna.
Tuesday’s quake, with a magnitude of 5.8, struck near the city of Modena and killed 17 people.
Many of the 14,000 people forced to leave their houses were victims of an earlier quake in the region nine days ago, which caused seven deaths.
Annalisa Caiazzo who is staying at the tent camp in Mirandola described how she felt during the night: “I had a psychological breakdown after so many aftershocks. I did not expect that it would start again.”
“I am afraid, but not overwhelmed, because in life I have always been strong – I’ve also fought against illness. I feel afraid, but I’m trying to be strong,” said Anna Polastri, who was also staying at the tent camp.
As factories, churches, barns and homes collapsed, some of those who died were workers who were told it was safe to return to their jobs in plants and warehouses. Another was a man inspecting damage to a building from the earlier quake.
More than three million people in live in areas prone to earthquakes in Italy and around 2,000 tremors occur every year.