Home News In Italy, state of emergency on the island of Ischia where a landslide leaves at least seven dead

In Italy, state of emergency on the island of Ischia where a landslide leaves at least seven dead

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The Italian government declared a state of emergency on Sunday, November 27 for the island of Ischia, opposite Naples (South), affected the day before by a large landslide caused by heavy rains, the toll of which was weighed down to seven dead.

“The death toll of the landslide in Casamicciola has risen to seven dead, while the missing are five”said the prefect of Naples, Claudio Palomba, on Sunday evening.

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The state of emergency is often declared in the peninsula, following earthquakes, volcanic eruptions or severe weather. It provides for an accelerated procedure for mobilizing funds and resources, including those for civil protection, for urgent interventions or the setting up of reception structures.

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Casamicciola Terme, a spa resort of 8,000 winter residents on the lush island of Ischia, near Capri, suffered an earthquake in 2017 that killed two people. On the other hand, it had been completely destroyed by a much more powerful earthquake at the end of the 19th century.e century.

On the spot, more than 200 members of the civil protection and the police were still looking for the missing on Sunday, while hundreds of volunteers, mud up to their knees, are busy cleaning the streets of the small town. .

Remains of cars and buses crushed by the violence of the mudslide and rocks are visible everywhere, in a ballet of diggers trying to free up access to houses, cars and shops.

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Lack of maintenance and prevention

“It’s a situation that hurts us, if only for the missing people under the mountain. Here, it’s an island and even if we don’t really know each other, it’s almost like that, at least from a view”said Salvatore Lorini, 45, a resident of Ischia where he was born.

“The mountain came down, there was a devastation of shops, cars, hotels, and it had already happened nine years ago. Now I’m cleaning out my mother-in-law’s store”he explained.

This slippage was caused by the lack of maintenance and prevention “because nature is nature, there was the earthquake, but a little prevention” would perhaps have saved lives, according to Salvatore Lorini, who would like to see the establishment of a system similar to that of buoys warning of the arrival of a tsunami, but allowing the population to be told that the earth is moving.

“I have to be sincere, if I could, I would leave Casamicciola because now I find it difficult to live there. Although I must say that my house survived the earthquake, the floods”told AFP-TV Iacono Maria, 64, assuring that the latest events have “broken heart”.

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“I am close to the population of the island of Ischia affected by a flood. I pray for the victims, for those who suffer and for all those who have intervened in the rescue.”said Pope Francis after the Angelus prayer.

For Tommaso Moramarco, director of the Institute for Hydrogeological Research and Protection, quoted by the AGI agency, “in Ischia there is an urbanization that has hit and devastated the whole territory”.

“When the island entered the period of mass tourism, the growth of infrastructure was exponential, suffocating all the natural elements of the territory and covering everything with cement”added the geologist Mario Tozzi in the pages of the daily “La Stampa”, recalling the existence of tens of thousands of illegal constructions in Ischia.

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