Vatican City, 8 June 2006 - Caritas Italy will move forward with plans to build 400 temporary showers for the victims of the earthquake in Iran's Lorestan province on March 31st, which levelled about 70 villages and severely damaged about 260 others, making some 15,000 people homeless.
Caritas Internationalis has opened an appeal for just over $US 460,000 to help fund the project.
The quake, which was preceded by a series of tremors that served as a warning, measured 6.0 on the Richter scale. Because authorities had issued warnings to residents to move outside after the first smaller shudders, only 70 people were killed and over 1200 were injured.
The epicentre of the quake was in Dasht Silakhor, about 400 kilometres southwest of Tehran.
Several United Nations agencies responded to the immediate needs of the victims, providing them with food, water, tents, blankets and medical assistance. The Iranian state also provided relief, and said that an international response in the immediate aftermath would not be necessary.
Caritas Italy, after consulting with the Iranian Ministry of the Interior to establish how Caritas could be of help, has been given permission to construct showers in the earthquake-damaged areas. The design is based on a similar project that Caritas Italy carried out following a previous quake in Zarand in early 2005.
The showers will be equipped with water heaters and will include a separate dressing room to provide privacy, especially for the women using them.
Caritas Internationalis is a confederation of 162 Catholic relief, development, and social service organisations present in over 200 countries and territories.
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