Chile launches new housing project in quake zone

14:05, August 28, 2010      

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President Sebastian Pinera Friday launched the construction of 300,000 new homes in central south part of country which had been devastated by a megaquake in February.

Pinera initiated the project during a trip to Concepcion, one of the hardest hit cities in the 8.8 magnitude quake on Feb.27.

The project is part of the "Let's build up Chile" post-quake rebuilding plan with a total investment of 8 billion U.S. dollars.

The plan also includes public infrastructure reconstruction and the restructuring of replacement of the Emergency National office (Onemi).

"We are going to make a complete restructuring of the Onemi, creating a National Agency of Emergencies, for Chile to have an efficient early alert system," Pinera said.

He also said he will increase the royalties for the mining companies, which will bring in one extra billion dollars for the rebuilding efforts.

The government said six months after the earthquake, 83 percent of the infrastructure and services damages have been fixed.

The Planning Ministry said among the 261,000 houses damaged in the earthquake, 15 percent got definite solutions and the rest temporary ones.

Source: Xinhua


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