Pope Francis on Wednesday expressed prayerful solidarity with the victims of the magnitude 4.0 tremor that hit the volcanic island of Ischia, killing two people, injuring 29 and leaving some 2,600 people homeless.
"I express closeness and affection to those suffering from Monday's earthquake on Ischia. My thoughts are with them," Francis said at his weekly general audience in St Peter's Square.
"Let us pray for the dead, the injured and their families and for those who have been left homeless," Francis told pilgrims.
A woman died when a church collapsed in the village of Casamicciola in the northern part of Ischia during Monday's quake and a second woman was found dead under the rubble of her home.
Three young brothers and their father were pulled alive from the ruins of their house in Casamicciola, where 2,000 people lost their homes. The boys' pregnant mother managed to escape through a window.
A further 600 people were left homeless in the village of Lacco Ameno.
Geologists, architects and prosecutors in Italy have blamed illegal building on Ischia for the collapse of residential buildings during the relatively light tremor, while local mayor have denied this charge.