Europe

Italy earthquake: Wooden houses planned for survivors

Arquata del Tronto tented camp, 28 Aug 16 Image copyright AP
Image caption The Arquata del Tronto tented camp - one of several in the earthquake zone

Italy plans to build simple, wooden chalet-style huts within three months for the 2,500 people displaced by the 24 August earthquake.

Italian media say the structures - used in Onna after a devastating 2009 earthquake - are favoured over tents, such as those currently being used, or converted shipping containers.

The 6.2-magnitude quake last Wednesday shattered Amatrice and two other towns in mountains north-east of Rome.

Some 290 people died in the disaster.

Prime Minister Matteo Renzi discussed reconstruction plans on Sunday with Renzo Piano, one of Italy's most renowned architects.

The authorities face the challenge of getting survivors into safe, warm accommodation before the winter, which can get very cold in the quake-hit region of the Apennine mountains.

Italy's Corriere della Sera newspaper reports (in Italian) that the wooden huts would be erected close to people's damaged or destroyed homes, which is where most of them want to be.

Despite the tented camps, some survivors still prefer to sleep in their cars, near their homes, fearing that looters could steal their possessions amid the rubble.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption The heaviest casualties were in Amatrice, as many old buildings collapsed in the night

When the weather gets colder, people will be given temporary rooms in hotels by the sea, before moving into the huts, or "mini-chalets", Amatrice mayor Sergio Pirozzi said.

The wooden huts will have one or two bedrooms, a kitchen and bathroom, costing €1,400 (£1,200; $1,564) per square metre (10.7 sq ft). A small hut of 40 sq m would cost about €55,000 - much more than a container of similar size, Corriere della Sera reports.

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