Post-quake housing in central Italy to reach 80 pct by December: reports

Source:Xinhua Published: 2017/11/11 7:16:38

The housing of displaced people in central Italy's quake-hit regions would reach some 80 percent by December, local media reported on Friday citing officials.

Some 1,100 prefabricated houses were so far provided to those who lost their homes in the affected regions of Umbria, Lazio, Marche and Abruzzo, which have been struck by a series of powerful earthquakes since last year.

"Our projection is to deliver another 100 temporary houses in the next few days, and reach the target of 3,000 between end of November and December," Ansa news agency quoted chief of Italy's Civil Protection agency Angelo Borrelli as saying. The official made his remarks during a video forum with Ansa on Friday.

The 3,000-house target would represent 80 percent of all the prefabs needed across the affected areas, according to authorities.

A much higher number of people were forced to leave their homes across the quake-hit regions. Yet, a majority of them was accommodated in hotels and other facilities along the coast, while another portion found hospitality by relatives, or preferred makeshift accommodations.

Even for Italy -- which national experts considered a country of"medium-high seismic hazard" -- the emergency caused by the recent quakes has been unprecedented.

A first quake carrying a magnitude 6.0 on the Richter scale struck on Aug. 24, 2016, killing some 300 people. It was the only event causing deaths last year. Two other major quakes of last hit in the same areas on Oct. 26 and Oct. 30, destroying thousands of buildings and much of the historical heritage.

The latest seismic disaster occurred on Jan. 18 this year: four temblors all above magnitude 5.0 took place in about four hours.

According to an analysis provided by the central government in summer, the quakes in 2016 affected 140 municipalities, and over 32,000 people, plus some 220 schools in 122 towns and at least 13,000 students.

Despite a huge apparatus deployed for reconstruction, delays have hampered the process, and authorities have acknowledged it.

The Civil Protection chief also admitted further gaps still needed to be filled. Some 2.3 million tons of rubble were yet to be removed in the quake-hit areas, according to Borrelli. "So far, we have estimated some 400 tons of debris have been cleared, which included all the rubble from public buildings in all the affected regions,"Ansa quoted him as reporting.

"The major problem now consists in removing debris of private buildings and private houses," Borrelli pointed out.

On Thursday, the Civil Protection agency reported that the country received a 1.2 billion euro (1.4 billion US dollars) contribution from the European Union (EU) Solidarity Fund, which had been approved by the EU parliament in Sept.

Considering all of the seismic events, Italy estimated damages worth some 22 billion euros (25.6 billion US dollars) overall.

Posted in: EUROPE

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