In the first week of May this year more than 1,000 people were killed when successive earthquakes struck the Friuli area of north-eastern Italy.
TRAEL SHOT ENTERING Town of Friuli
SV People looking around wreckage (2 shots)
SV Army bulldozers clearing wreckage (3 shots)
GTV ZOOM OUT FROM Wreckage TO town standing beneath mountains
GV PAN FROM Traffic along road TO workmen loading foundations for prefabricated buildings (2 shots)
SV Men working on prefabricated buildings (4 shots)
GV Ruins in back-ground an sign (2 shots)
CU ZOOM OUT FRON Remains of church
SV Mountains PULL BACK TO wreckage (2 shots)
CU ZOOM OUT FROM Church bell chiming TO wreckage
REPORTER DAVID JESSEL: "What happens to a tourist town when it becomes a ghost town? You get a different sort of tourist, shuffling through the debris--curious in the wake of someone else's disaster. The army bulldozers can do little with Venzone now except to make it a tidier ruin, to help make devastation neat. Every--one's grateful to the army for the work isn't entirely futile. Their activity, any activity, helps build some sort of rampart for help to shelter by and what remains of faith needs all the shelter it can get. Friuli never offered much to tie the people to its soil. Emigration was traditionally high. That's why it was urgent to build some sort of temporary housing as quickly as possible before the people of Venzone drifted away for good. The plan was to have these prefabs ready for the winter but the schedule slipped. Come March they will be ready, they've got to be ready because by then the summer tourists will begin to displace the refugees from the seaside hotels where they're staying now. What happens after that no one knows. There are plans to rebuild Venzone in two, maybe five, maybe ten, years but by then the immediate priority of shelter will have been achieved and Venzone's redevelopment plan may be gathering mildew in some government in-tray, prefabs have a way of staying around. Friuli, Venzone, knows that if it is to survive as anything more than a prefab city it has only its own resources to rely upon. Rebuilding Venzone will be Venzone's job, and they've come to terms with that. They plan to leave the church and the town walls as monuments to the events of '76 -- just as they are. Venzone, the Mayor told us, has always been a town of history and the earthquake too is part of that history. There's a defiance in that remark that more than makes up for the absence of comfort and joy in Venzone this cold Christmas.
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Background: In the first week of May this year more than 1,000 people were killed when successive earthquakes struck the Friuli area of north-eastern Italy. The Italian government put 20,000 of the 70,000 made homeless into hotels on the adriatic coast, but what is happening to the devastated towns in which those people used to live? Reporter David Jessel of the BBC's 'Tonight' programme has been visiting the medieval tourist town of Venzone -- one of the worst hit in the disaster in May.