Firefighters in Amatrice, one of the hilltop towns that was all but destroyed by Italy’s earthquake, recovered the body of a woman from the ruins of a collapsed hotel on Monday.
It took them three days to reach the corpse – the dead woman was buried under around 20ft of rubble in the Hotel Roma in the centre of the town, once known as one of Italy’s most picturesque. She had been asleep in a room on the first floor of the hotel when the 6.0 magnitude struck in the early hours of Wednesday.
The death toll from the disaster stands at 290 but is expected to rise further because several people remain missing. At least two other people are thought to be buried in the remains of the Hotel Roma.
Around 2,700 people have been made homeless by the quake and are mostly being accommodated in tent villages built by the Italian emergency services along the verdant valley that was most affected by the earthquake.
They have no idea how long idea they may have to stay there but fear the rain, snow and freezing temperatures that winter will bring to the mountain region, on the borders of Abruzzo, Marche, Lazio and Umbria.
Italy has a poor record of rebuilding after big quakes, but Matteo Renzi, the prime minister, promised that this time will be different.
He has proposed an initiative called Home Italy – a national plan for rendering houses more quake-resistant.
“The fact that we have been unable to get a coordinated, strategic prevention project off the ground for the past 70 years means this won’t be an easy challenge… but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try,” he said. The future of our children is at stake.
Details of the project would be presented in the next few days, the premier said. On Sunday he met with Renzo Piano, the celebrity architect known for his innovative work around the world, including The Shard in London, to seek his advice about how to build after the quake.
Mr Renzi has repeatedly said his government wants to avoid building new towns of the type constructed by former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi after the 2009 L’Aquila earthquake.
Mr Renzi has, instead, vowed to rebuild mountain villages and hamlets as they were, only with quake-proof architecture.
Mr Piano said he told the prime minister that Italy should focus on the long-term.
I told him that what is needed is a project that will span the next 50 years and two generations, the architect told La Repubblica newspaper.
We’re talking about the entire mountainous spine of the Apennines, from the north of Italy to the south. It would require international contributions because the extraordinary beauty of Italy does not belong just to us but to the world.
In the short term, Italy should build temporary wooden homes near the villages and towns that were nearly obliterated by the earthquake so that people can retain their local roots.
The country needed to act immediately to bring state-owned buildings up to scratch with anti-seismic regulations, said Mr Piano.
But the vast majority of buildings are in private hands and you cannot force people to do this work if they don’t have the money. So we need tax breaks and financial incentives, as has already been done in the renewable energy sector.
We need to have laws that make it obligatory to make the buildings in which we live seismic-proof, just as it is obligatory to make sure that the brakes on your car work.
Domestic animals are also suffering as a result of the quake, Italy’s national farming organisation said on Monday. Coldiretti said that around 90 per cent of barns and stalls for sheep, goats and cattle had been destroyed in the quake.
News Source TelegraphNews