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Italy to Rebuild Homes Destroyed by Mudslides


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Italy's prime minister visited areas struck by deadly mudslides in Sicily and promised to build new houses for the hundreds of people left homeless. He said he would provide new homes for them just like he did for the victims of the quake in l'Aquila earlier this year. Twenty-two people have been killed by the mudslides.

The evacuation of all the towns affected by the mudslides has been going on all day. But not everyone wants to leave their homes, especially the elderly. In addition, people want to take some of their belongings with them. But this is not always possible.

Most are desperate, still looking for loved ones . The digging continues, but there is little hope of finding any survivors at this stage. Dozens are still missing and the number of dead can only rise.

It continued to rain Sunday, hampering relief operations. A break in the weather expected in the coming hours should help in clearing roads, many of which remain impassable due to rivers of mud.

More than 500 people have been made homeless by the mudslides since Thursday.

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi toured the area on Sunday.

Berlusconi promised the residents of the area affected by the mudslides there will be new homes for them provided by the government. He says the solution that will be adopted will be the same as in earthquake stricken l'Aquila. The deadly quake on April 6th left 300 dead and tens-of-thousand homeless.

Berlusconi said areas would be identified near Messina, in north-east Sicily, where new three-story houses will be built and furnished.

The prime minister said an "exceptional" deluge that dumped more than 23 centimeters of rain in just a few hours caused the devastation in the small Sicilian towns. Authorities have acknowledged that illegal building in the area contributed to the disaster.

Berlusconi also said that the primary job for rebuilding would lie with Sicily's autonomous regional government, which he said has already set aside nearly $30 million. He said the national government would also contribute.

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