Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has promised quick support for earthquake victims and their towns.
Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has promised quick support for earthquake victims and their towns. TIBERIO BARCHIELLI / PALAZZO CHI

Italy will rebuild its 'identity'

ITALIAN Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has pledged quicker relief for earthquake victims as some residents refuse to leave their homes.

He unveiled plans to rebuild the devastated area, promising to provide shipping containers for people to live in while housing is rebuilt.

Tens of thousands of people in central Italy were facing evacuation or were sleeping in tents, emergency shelters, cars or trains after Sunday's powerful 6.5 magnitude earthquake and repeated aftershocks.

But the rumbles may not be over, with British Geological Survey's Margarita Segou saying, "We cannot exclude the possibility of larger magnitude aftershocks”.

Tensions between Italy and the European Commission have risen over Rome's request to overshoot its deficit targets for spending on the earthquake and a major migrant inflow.

"If we gave the idea that we cannot rebuild because of European constraints, it would mean we have all lost our minds,” he said.

"These villages are the identity of Italy. We must reconstruct them all, quickly and well.”

There were increasing reports of residents resisting relocation, either because they had businesses to tend to or in the belief that if their homes were still standing they remained the safest place to be.


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