Heavy rains have worsened conditions for the three thousand homeless earthquake victims in the Italian province of Umbria.
Heavy rains have worsened conditions for the three thousand homeless earthquake victims in the Italian province of Umbria. Their homes wrecked in last Wednesday's (19 September) earthquake, refugees have been temporarily housed in army tents on nearby hillsides.
SYNOPSIS: This muddy hillside, with its lines of caravans and tents, in now home for the people of San Marco Di Norcia. Their own village no longer exists; it was reduced to rubble in the violent earthquake which shook Central Italy on Wednesday night (19 September).
Their utensils and possessions are just what they have been able to salvage: the bare essentials for cooking and eating. Their homes, for the time being, are made of canvas.
Gradually, they are trying to make their new homes as habitable as possible. Electricity is being connected and other basic amenities are being provided.
But living in the open has left them exposed. Heavy autumn rains have been making life increasingly difficult for the homeless villagers. Red Cross caravans have been on hand to treat the sick.
The Italian Army has been providing emergency tents. But the worst-hit areas of Umbria are reporting a shortage of tents and overcrowding. Meanwhile, soldiers are busy erecting cookhouse throughout the disaster area to feed the earthquake victims. Food is hard to come by, since shops have been destroyed and normal agricultural life disrupted.
But what is worrying the inhabitants of this makeshift village is not their short-term food supply, but their long term future.