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Archive for Sunday, April 12, 2009

Routine sets in for quake refugees

April 12, 2009

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— Some semblance of routine was settling in at the tent camps sprawled across Italy’s central earthquake-stricken region on Saturday, and most of it involved lines: waiting for breakfast, waiting for information, waiting for a shower — a cold shower.

Residents were slowly accepting that this could be their life for at least the next few months until temporary housing can be built. Some can’t even think about returning to their homes, still spooked by the quake that shook them from their sleep Monday morning and killed at least 293 people.

On the eve of Easter, Roman Catholic faithful confessed their sins in a blowup tent fitted with an altar and a crucifix to prepare for Mass the next day. In other tents, people gathered around flat screen TVs to watch a soccer game or a news program reporting the death toll had risen — with the latest bodies pulled from the rubble of a building in L’Aquila, only a few blocks away.

The occupants are some of the 40,000 people whose homes were either destroyed, badly damaged or too risky to reoccupy without extensive repairs and shoring up.

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