The death toll from a second powerful earthquake in Italy in nine days is reported to have reached at least 16 with an estimated 14,000 people left homeless.
Residents in cities including Turin and Venice rushed into the streets in panic when a quake struck 40 miles east of Parma yesterday morning.
The region was then hit by three more quakes of between 5.1 and over 5.3 magnitude.
The earthquake, which injured 200 people, came just over a week after an earlier tremor left six dead and 7,000 without a home.
The Italian government declared a state of emergency for 60 days in the affected provinces of Bologna, Modena, Ferrara and Reggio Emilia.
The Foreign & Commonwealth Office advised those planning to travel to the region to check with their tour operators or travel providers before departing the UK, and to follow the advice of the local authorities.
The FCO said: “Travel in the main cities remains unaffected although diversions are in place on B roads in the affected area.
“Regional public transport is likely to be seriously affected. Mobile communications in the area are also seriously affected and people are asked to use their mobiles only for an emergency.”
The region has been hit by a series of quakes and aftershocks over the past two weeks. Authorities have registered at least 800 tremors since May 20.
Prime Minister Mario Monti said in a televised address from Rome: "A new quake has hit the Emilia Romagna region, leaving victims, wounded people and damaged buildings in its wake."
Pope Benedict XVI sent his condolences to the families of the victims of Tuesday's quake, which was felt throughout northern and central Italy.
The latest disasters came just over three years after a 6.3-magnitude quake devastated the city of L'Aquila in central Italy, killing some 300 people and leaving tens of thousands homeless.
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