Survivors of a deadly quake in northeast Italy sought shelter in a gymnasium Sunday, but many were losing patience as authorities appeared ill-equipped to cope with the emergency.
"The roof of my house has collapsed and I was told to come here, but I don't see where we can sleep," complained one man, who was among about 100 others seeking refuge in the gym, bemoaning the absence of beds and trying to keep warm under blankets.
Authorities evacuated about 3,000 people from the Emilia Romagna region, where a magnitude 6.0 quake struck early Sunday, killing at least six.
Most were evacuated from the Modena area, while 500 were asked to leave their homes in the area around Ferrara.
A local representative from the civil protection service, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said he was frustrated with the response to the disaster.
"We have not been told what to do yet. It's just confusion here," he said, clearly irritated. "We are waiting and keeping count of the people who are arriving."
He added that many houses were still spewing gas from leaks.
Survivors in the gym were relieved to be away from the quake's epicentre.
Speaking on a deserted basketball court, 38-year-old Angelo huddled with his wife and one-year-old.
"I was told that I can go home, but I am afraid. I have a baby and I don't want to have to re-live what happened overnight," he said.
"We will sleep here even if they don't bring us beds or anything. At least it's safe."
Angelo said his house shook so hard it was impossible to flee from it.
"When we were got on the street, it was like we were at sea, the ground was shaking," he said.
Several children were among the survivors, as well as two wheelchair-bound elderly women, a woman with a small dog and a chain-smoking man.
"I still have goosebumps," the man said. "When I felt the quake, I went to get my baby from the cradle but I couldn't find him -- with the shock, I did not understand that my wife had already taken him outside," the man said.
"I was screaming, I was desperate," he said, adding that he would sleep outside in case an aftershock jolted the gynasium.
The fatal quake was registered at 0204 GMT. Authorities said its epicentre was the commune of Finale Emilia, 36 kilometres (22 miles) north of Bologna, at a depth of only 5.1 kilometres (3.2 miles).
While many in the gym were upset at the lack of bedding, a small bar was offering sandwiches and crackers.
"At least they have given me something to eat here," one survivor said.