Equipment aid for earthquake aftermath

By Becca Wilkins29 April 2009

Doosan subsidiary Bobcat has donated construction equipment to the Italian town of Aquila for cleara

Doosan subsidiary Bobcat has donated construction equipment to the Italian town of Aquila for clearance work following the Abruzzo earthquake that hit the area earlier this month.

Equipment from Doosan subsidiary Bobcat has been donated to the town of L'Aquilla, Italy for clearance work following the Abruzzo earthquake of April 6.

Reconstruction following the 6,3 magnitude Abruzzo earthquake will cost at least € 12 billion. Almost 300 people were killed and an estimated 58000 have been left homeless. An initial estimate by interior minister Roberto Maroni said it would cost € 12 billion to repair the damage.

The European headquarters of Doosan Bobcat in Waterloo, Belgium, coordinated sending the machines from several company locations across Europe including Puurs in Belgium and factories in the Czech Republic. The equipment, required for working in the narrow streets of Aquila, included compact excavators, loaders, telehandlers and attachments.

Bobcat's regional director in Italy, Maurizio Chiarotti, and the local Bobcat dealer in this part of Italy, Ridolfi, worked closely with the staff in Waterloo. Ridolfi had felt the effects of the earthquake 40 km away and contacted the disaster emergency team to see what equipment could be supplied by Bobcat to help in relief efforts.

Using the Bobcat machines, rescuers could work in the tight spaces in the town, clearing pathways by removing rubble and other debris, then using breakers and other attachments, the company stated.

The Italian government has approved a range of recovery measures to help those affected. These include a range of loans and temporary relief on mortgage payments. A special tax is thought to be under consideration to fund the reconstruction work.

The cabinet has set aside € 8,5 billion from its current budget for reconstruction work, € 1,5 billion of which is ear-marked for emergency measures. However, it is not clear how the spending increase will be funded. The Government is also hoping to secure EU funds for reconstruction.

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