Saturday, May 15, 2010

Thoughts of an Italian Writer: (4)

by Dr. Antonio Castaldo for IESUS European Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences.

"The Earthquake in Abruzzo, Voices of Hope"

First homes deliver in Abruzzo their wounded. The tent camps are emptied. The shocks return. Memory recalls the first days of the tragedy. But hope does not surrender.

* * * *

The earthquake of April 6, 2009 in Abruzzo has claimed 299 victims, among which were 20 children, leaving 80,000 people in the street, destitute to live in 100 tent camps set up by the Civil Defense. The area around Aquila with that shake, of magnitude 5,8 Richter, suffered a deformation of 650 square kilometers as reported by the CNR processing data from the European satellite Envisat.

The heritage building that was saved from the earthquake is now the subject of site inspections to verify its usefulness and allow the return home of the more fortunate people. A state funeral for 205 of the 299 victims were officiated by the secretary of state, Tarcisio Bertone e dal Vescovo dell' Aquila, Giuseppe Molinari at the Barracks of the Guard of Finance to Coppito, on April 10, with a distraught crowd of 1,600 families and 5,000 people.

Pope Benedetto XVI has granted his Secretary of State, the dispensing of the holy oil because the funeral ceremony coincided with Good Friday. His Holiness also sent his personal secretary Georg Gaenswein, with instructions to read a message at the beginning of the ceremony.

There were present Giorgio Napolitano, President of the Republic; Silvio Berlusconi, President of the Council; Renato Schifani and Gianfranco Fini, respectively President of the Senate and President of the Chamber of the Deputies: Roberto Maroni, Minister of the Interior and the Undersecretary Gianni Letta and Paolo Bonaiuti. From the opposition there were present Dario Franceschini, Piero Fassino, Paolo Ferrero, Rosy Bindi, Franco Marini, Paolo Cento and Lorenzo Cesa.

For seven dead Muslims Islamic rites were officiated by the imam, Mohammed Nour Dachan, president of the Union of Islamic Communities and organizations in Italy.

This is the picture from a distance shown by the media. Then there is the daily truth that can be perceived and told by going directly on the place. And so, in the final days of the Holy Week I visited the earthquake-stricken areas following a troop of volunteers from the European Operators Police in Campania, the Regional President General Giovanni Cimmino. On the spot of the disaster between the first rescuers to intervene the operators of AEOP Abruzzo Region with the President Nino Pezzi and the "consecration" mass media, for exposure in the cover of the immediate special issue of Panorama, the AEOP operator Rosario Zuccarello 31 years during the intervention of Onna to the first light of the day after the night of the earthquake.

At 15 kilometers from Aquila, 900 meters above sea level, there is the Campo di San Martino, a village which, together with two others, Petogna and Villa, complete the territory of the Municipality of Barisciano near Poggio Picenze. To San Martino there is the Civil Defense Mobile Column of the Piedmont Region and the coordination of the Province of Alessandria. Heading the field is Marco Bologna with the help of Claudio Fantino. To San Martino, coming from Brindisi, there is also Battalion San Marco of the Navy, with the Captain of Vessel, SAN, Andrea Tortora under the command of the Presidio Advanced Healthcare Service also includes Psychologic Support provided by the Sub-Lieutenant of Vessel Giuseppe Frassica.

To be continued: Earthquake in Abruzzo (4a)

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