Italy has had it share of disasters this year and their effects are still being felt as the Christmas season approaches.
GV AND CU: remains of earthquake damage in Friuli region. (4 shots)
SV AND GV: refugees living in tents. (3 shots)
SV: schoolchildren receiving gifts from Father Christmas and entering schoolroom. (3 shots)
CU SIGN: Buon Natale PAN TO classroom with children singing carols as Father Christmas wanders around. (2 shots)
CU SIGN: Seveso PAN TO road.
GV: Icmesa factory
SV: soldiers blockading road.
GV AND SV: Christmas shoppers in Seveso market. (5 shots)
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Italy has had it share of disasters this year and their effects are still being felt as the Christmas season approaches.
SYNOPSIS: It won't be a happy Christmas for many in Italy especially in the Friuli region - devastated by two savage earthquakes, one in May and another in September. In this region where the night temperatures fall, on some nights, to 20 degrees below zero there are still some two to three thousand people living in tents. Nearly 30 thousand people displaced by the earthquakes are living in temporary shelters or with relatives in other parts of Italy and abroad.
Efforts are being made to offset the effects on the economies of the regions, like on distribution to children in Gemona of Christmas toys given by a firms in Varese. The distribution took place outside their wooden temporary schoolroom. Santa Claus also visited the children inside the schoolroom to wish them a merry Christmas.
The first earthquake which struck the area was bad enough. After the second in four months, the apparently indomitable Friuli people broke and ran. One survivor said "We have nothing left except our eyes to cry with."
Another area where Christmas will bring little joy is Seveso. There are few people here. Some areas may never be inhabited again. There was an explosion at the Icmesa chemical factory in July which released deadly dioxin fumes into the air. Everything contaminated remains so and soldiers are on guard to dissuade those who might not understand how serious the threat is from re-entering certain areas. However, those remaining in Seveso are making sure that the gift-giving aspects of Christmas don't go un-observed.