Premier vows help for thou­sands dis­placed by quakes

Jamaica Gleaner - - INTERNATIONAL NEWS -

FBI Di­rec­tor James Comey NOR­CIA (AP): ITALY’S PREMIER pledged yes­ter­day to find tem­po­rary hous­ing for all those dis­placed by a se­ries of pow­er­ful earth­quakes in a cen­tral moun­tain­ous re­gion, as the na­tion’s strong­est tem­blor in 36 years pushed those need­ing as­sis­tance to more than 15,000.

Some com­mu­ni­ties, how­ever, re­sisted re­lo­ca­tion.

Sun­day morn­ing’s quake with a mag­ni­tude 6.6 caused no deaths or se­ri­ous in­juries, largely be­cause most frag­ile city cen­tres had al­ready been closed be­cause of pre­vi­ous dam­age and many homes had been va­cated.

But it did com­pli­cate quake re­lief ef­forts in a zone still cop­ing with the af­ter­math of an Au­gust earth­quake that killed nearly 300 and a pair of pow­er­ful aftershocks last week that claimed no lives. Civil pro­tec­tion author­i­ties are still pro­vid­ing hous­ing to 2,000 peo­ple dis­placed from the Au­gust quake.

The premier’s pledge for hous­ing comes amid in­creas­ing re­ports of res­i­dents re­sist­ing re­lo­ca­tion, ei­ther be­cause they have busi­nesses to tend to, not in­fre­quently in­volv­ing live­stock, or in the be­lief that if their homes are still stand­ing, they re­main the safest place to be.

Civil pro­tec­tion of­fi­cials said they ex­pect the num­ber of peo­ple need­ing as­sis­tance to con­tinue to rise, as it do not count the many peo­ple who slept in ve­hi­cles or made other ar­range­ments and are likely to seek help. Tem­per­a­tures overnight reached near freez­ing, and of­fi­cials have ex­pressed con­cern for the many el­derly res­i­dents of these moun­tain com­mu­ni­ties.

“We can­not have tents for some months in the moun­tains, un­der the snow,” Premier Mat­teo Renzi wrote in a mes­sage on Mon­day. “There are enough ho­tels for ev­ery­one. But many of our com­pa­tri­ots don’t want to leave their lands, not even for some weeks.” A view of the destroyed grave­yard of Campi, cen­tral Italy. The third pow­er­ful earth­quake to hit Italy in two months spared hu­man life Sun­day but struck at the na­tion’s iden­tity, de­stroy­ing a Bene­dic­tine cathe­dral, a me­dieval tower, and other beloved landmarks that had sur­vived the ear­lier jolts across a moun­tain­ous re­gion of small his­toric towns.

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