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More payouts in store for Polish storm victims: PM

PR dla Zagranicy
Paweł Kononczuk 23.08.2017 15:10
Families affected by a series of severe storms in northern and western Poland will receive funds from the government to rebuild and renovate their homes, Prime Minister Beata Szydło said on Wednesday.
PM Beata Szydło speaks at a press briefing in Gostyń on Wednesday. Photo: PAP/Marek Zakrzewski PM Beata Szydło speaks at a press briefing in Gostyń on Wednesday. Photo: PAP/Marek Zakrzewski

The first funds earmarked for the reconstruction and renovation of houses will reach the bank accounts of storm victims in September, she said after taking a tour of devastated sites in the western Wielkopolska province.

She was speaking in the town of Gostyń where she took part in a meeting of the provincial crisis management team.

Szydło told reporters that the first phase of the cleanup effort had been completed and that another stage had begun—that of rebuilding the destroyed property.

The head of government was accompanied to Gostyń by her infrastructure minister Andrzej Adamczyk and Wielkopolska province governor Zbigniew Hoffmann.

The damage for all affected households will be assessed by the end of August, Szydło said after the crisis management meeting.

Under new simplified procedures for estimating losses and paying out compensation, storm victims can apply for up to PLN 200,000 (EUR 46,700, USD 55,000) in funds for the reconstruction of a home and for up to PLN 100,000 (EUR 23,300, USD 27,500) for the reconstruction of a non-residential building.

By the end of last week, local governments had received over PLN 42 million (EUR 9.8 million, USD 11.6 million) in funds from the government to support storm victims.

On 11-12 August, fierce winds and heavy downpour wreaked havoc in Poland’s north and west, killing six people, including two girls at a scouting camp, damaging hundreds of homes and destroying some 45,000 hectares of forest.

Power was cut to more than half a million people at the peak of the storms.

Some 96,000 firefighters were called out more than 26,000 times, and 400 soldiers were involved in the cleanup after the weather subsided.

Both the fire department and armed forces aim to have roads and buildings in working order before children go back to school on 1 September.

Meanwhile, insurers may have to pay out some PLN 400 million (EUR 93.5 million) on the 50-70 percent of properties that were insured, according to Poland's Rzeczpospolita daily.

Damage to the power supply system is estimated at up to PLN 200 million (EUR 46.8 million, USD 55 million), according to the paper. (str)

Source: IAR

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