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Earthquake Proofing Gets More Funds

Houses in Altai will be among those benefiting from $162 million in funding this year to increase their stability.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has promised to provide 4.8 billion rubles ($162 million) from the federal budget this year to build earthquake-resistant houses and increase the seismic stability of existing homes in the 27 most vulnerable regions.

A total of 2.8 billion rubles has been set aside for this purpose, and an additional 2 billion rubles will go to three areas — the Tuva, Khakasia and Altai republics — where strong earthquakes occurred in the last few months, Putin said last week, while chairing a meeting with government officials on increasing the seismic stability of houses.

The funds to be provided are part of a federal program to increase the seismic stability of housing in  potentially dangerous regions in 2009 through 2013, and Putin said a total of 13.8 billion rubles had been spent already, including 11.3 billion rubles from the federal budget.

The program has focused so far on three regions — the Kamchatka, Sakhalin and Amur regions — which got more than 200,000 square meters of new earthquake-resistant housing, Regional Development Minister Viktor Basargin said.

Government officials participating in the meeting also called for extending the program till 2018. This will require a total of 72.5 billion rubles of financing, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak said.

Putin ordered the Regional Development Ministry to prepare by the end of this month the documents needed for extending the financing.

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