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Colombian government to aid fault victims

Aug. 24, 2011 at 9:01 AM

BOGOTA, Aug. 24 (UPI) -- Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said he will grant about $65 million in reconstruction funds to a region destroyed by a crack in the earth's crust.

Santos said the government plans to relocate hundreds of families after the newly developed geological fault destroyed a neighborhood in Cartegena last week, El Tiempo reported Wednesday.

"These funds are intended, for the most part, housing, so people who suffered the disaster are left better off than they were before," said Santos.

The geological fault was the result of last year's severe floods, officials said, and damaged about 550 homes, displacing some 2,600 families.

Santos said he was impressed with the community effort and work already being done by local authorities in the neighborhood of San Francisco, the area most affected by the fault.

Last year's rainy season was one of the worst in the history of the country, with flooding and landslides claiming the lives of 174 people and injuring 225.

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