Water in quake-hit Amatrice no longer safe to drink

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Firefighters inspect buildings in a hamlet near Amatrice. Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP
15:00 CEST+02:00
Twelve days after the devastating earthquake in central Italy, authorities have warned that the water in amatrice is not safe to drink.

The mayor of Amatrice, the town of around 2,500 which suffered the heaviest casualties in the earthquake on August 24th, has issued an order banning any personal consumption or use of the town's water.

Signs have been placed around the town to warn residents of the dangerous levels of bacteria which have been found at some points of the town's water supply.

While Sogea, the company in charge of the region's water, has pledged to carry out all necessary measures to make the water drinkable again a ban has been issued throughout the town as a precautionary measure, due to the “ongoing geological instability of the entire area".

READ MORE: Why Amatrice will never be the same again

As emergency services start to rebuild the town and residents try to get back to normality, the ground continues to shake.

Some 12 days after the original 6.0-6.2 magnitude quake hit, thousands of aftershocks, some measuring up to 4.8 magnitude on the Richter scale, have been felt.

Work has begun on temporary wooden homes for the 2,700 who have been made homeless by the quake, and on Tuesday structural checks will begin on the first of the town's houses to see how many are habitable.

Beacause many of the houses in the town are holiday homes or second homes, city authorities hope as many of the permanent residents as possible will be able to stay in the town once the makeshift tent camps are closed.

As part of Pirozzi's rebuilding project, Amatrice Solidale (Amatrice in solidarity), mayor Sergio Pirozzi has set up a special phone number for those with second homes in Amatrice to offer them for use by year-round occupants of the town who have lost their homes.

Just hours after the earthquake, which struck at 3.36am, Pirozzi had declared "half the town is gone" and initially suggested it might need to be bulldozed and completely rebuilt, but at the weekend he reaffirmed his commitment to rebuilding the historic town.

On Saturday, the Tre Occhi bridge, an important connection between Amatrice and the rest of the region, was reopened, with the mayor announcing it would be renamed 'Ponte della Renascita' (Rebirth Bridge).

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The body of the final missing person was identified on Sunday, bringing the death toll from the quake to 296.

The man, an Afghan named by Rai News as Sayed, had been staying in the Hotel Roma while visiting the town in order to see the festival celebrating its amatriciana pasta sauce.  He was due to begin a new job at a pizzeria in Turin this month.

Last week, two beloved pets were pulled from the ruins: a cat named Gioia, who survived for five days, and Romeo the golden retriever, who was labelled a 'miracle dog' after spending nine days under the rubble.

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