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Algeria Announces Post-Quake Reconstruction Plan - 2003-05-30

Algeria has announced an emergency building program to house victims left homeless by a series of powerful earthquakes that have recently hit the country. More than 2,200 people died and 10,000 others were injured in the quakes.

The Algerian government says it has set up a reconstruction program to aid tens of thousands of people left homeless by the earthquakes that rocked the country's northern coast over the past week.

Authorities say they will spend nearly $2 billion over the next two years to build 20,000 new apartment buildings. The new apartments will house an estimated 80,000 people, whose homes were destroyed by the quakes.

Huge numbers of quake survivors have been camping in parks and in the streets for fear of further tremors. The government has promised to provide tents to accommodate 150,000 people in the worst affected areas east of the capital, Algiers.

Many survivors and opposition politicians have blamed the high death toll and destruction on rampant corruption and shoddy construction in the quake-prone region.

Meanwhile, mourning continues for those who died and others who are still missing. Muslim imams said special prayers during Friday mosque services to commemorate those whose lives have been lost in the earthquakes.