Public works to repair damage caused by the 5.9 Richter earthquake that struck the Athens area on September 7, 1999 have been approved to the value of 344.4 billion drachmas for the 1999-2001 period, National Economy Undersecretary Christos Pachtas said yesterday. The earthquake caused the deaths of 143 people. The amount does not include credits made available from the state budget. To date, 185 billion drachmas of this amount have been paid out from national resources in the Public Investments Program and from the second and third Community Support Frameworks. This year, 14.8 billion drachmas out of a total 77.8 billion approved have been paid out for projects in areas including the worst-hit Ano Liosia and Metamorphosis, intended for rent subsidies, prefabricated homes, construction and other work.