Chile speeds up post-quake reconstruction

15:22, July 21, 2011      

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A package of special measures to speed up Chile's reconstruction following last year's massive earthquake has been approved, the Chilean government said Wednesday.

The package includes delivering portable subsidies of up to 16,165 U.S. dollars to each of the affected families, lifting restrictions that owners only build new homes in the original sites prior to the earthquake, and simplifying procedures in getting reconstruction funds, Housing and Urban Development Minister Rodrigo Perez Mackenna said.

The measures have been approved by the housing commission of the Senate and are expected to be implemented soon, Perez said.

The announcement came after a wave of protests and criticism over the the delay in reconstruction, as an estimated 35,000 victims are still living in temporary houses 18 months after the earthquake.

The 8.8-magnitude quake hit Chile in February last year, killing over 500 people and damaging some 220,000 homes, with losses estimated at 1.2 billion dollars.

Source: Xinhua
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