Displaced people have spent a second night under canvas in bitterly cold temperatures.
Tent camps are now the living quarters for many of the 17,000 people whose homes are in ruins. Others have found shelter with relatives, in hotels or are still sleeping in their cars. “Last night, it was very cold here,” said Valeria Latino, wrapped in a blanket, as she woke up in a tent camp. “The first night there was a lot of heavy rain. Fortunately, we had help from the Civil Protection services who provided blankets for us last night so that we and the children could stay warm.” While Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has won praise for his response to the disaster, some of his latest comments have raised eyebrows. Apparently trying to offer encouragement to those who have lost everything, he reportedly said they should consider themselves to be on a “camping weekend.” National solidarity remains strong, offering some comfort to survivors. Football teams are contributing takings from this weekend’s matches and universities and newspapers have organised collections.