Italy counts the human and economic cost of quakes

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Italy counts the human and economic cost of quakes

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Italy’s two earthquakes in two weeks have prompted the cash-strapped government to increase tax on petrol to help pay for the damage.

More than 14,000 people are having to sleep in tents, shelters or cars out side their wrecked homes as more than 60 after shocks jolted the Emilia Romagna region.

Riccardo Conte who is head of one camp’s civil protection unit said: “ We started the camp on Saturday night with 63 people. The following day we had 200 here. After Tuesday’s quake we now have as many as 237.”

Most of the 17 known victims of Tuesday’s quake perished under rubble while at work when the 5.8 magnitude tremor struck shortly after 7am.

Giovanne Gentile survived the latest tremor:

“Under the tents we are ok. But the fear of earthquakes doesn’t go away. My daughter was working in the factory that collapsed. They are still looking for people inside. She made it out,” Giovanne said.

Italian rescue workers removed the last earthquake victim from a factory reduced to rubble on Wednesday.

Analysts say the two quakes which together have killed more than 20 will have a prolonged impact both emotionally and economically as the region tries to recover.