Italy earthquake
People from a hospital for the elderly receive first aid after an earthquake in Finale Emilia Reuters

Emergency workers in northern Italy speedily built tent cities and makeshift shelters on Monday as aftershocks and tremors raise the fear of further destruction.

“Unfortunately, the after-shocks are continuing and this is creating concern for the citizens,” said Emilia Romagna regional president Vasco Errani, according to the Associated Press.

“This is something we have to deal with because there is a psychological aspect to this. As a result, we’re speeding up the checks on the buildings.”

Around 3,500 people had to be evacuated from their homes after a 5.9-magnitude earthquake hit the town of Finale Emilia, about 20 miles north of Bologna, around 4 a.m. on Sunday. Many spent the night in their cars and in a local school, but with more than 170 after-shocks having been recorded already, rescue workers are building more eight-person tents in order to shield the homeless from the dangers of rain and further damage, according to Bloomberg.

We are really afraid that there's going to be another big one. I just can't believe that the whole town has been destroyed, a Finale Emilia resident named Maurizio told the AFP.

We worked all through the night (to set up the camps), Sebastiano Lucchi of the Civil Protection agency added. We will stay here until the situation calms down.

Seven people died during Sunday's quake, including four workers who were crushed in the collapse in three separate factories. While Errani said on Monday that it is too early to quantify the damage from the quake -- which destroyed a number of historic buildings -- trade association Coldiretti stated that at least €200 million ($254 million) in damages were incurred by the region's agricultural industry. Among the sites damaged were a number of storehouses containing Parmesan, Grana and Padano cheeses.

“I want to offer my support and condolences and that of my government to all the families of the victims and all the people that have been affected by this quake that is once again testing the region of Emilia-Romagna,” stated Prime Minister Mario Monti, who left the NATO summit in Chicago early in order to respond to the quake.