FEATURES » A year after the earthquake in Central Italy

A year after the earthquake in Central Italy

From the 24th of August to the 30th of October 2016 three major earthquakes have destroyed the towns along the border of Abruzzo, Umbria, Marche and Lazio, causing the death of 299 people.

As a consequence of the three earthquakes in central Italy, 26 thousand people were evacuated and allocated in prefabricated houses, hotels and camps.

One year after, many hilltop towns and villages are still left in ruins causing frustration among the residents for the slow pace of reconstruction.

Commemorative ceremonies were carried out to remember the victims. A memorial was set up in the park in central Amatrice where people came to pay their respects to their loved ones killed in the Amatrice earthquake the year before. 

To this day, only 10 percent of the estimated two million tons of rubble in the damaged towns and villages has been cleared away, while even the restoration of basic services such as power and water supplies remain unsolved.

Many locals blame snail-paced administrative procedures for delay in post-quake reconstruction.

The local authorities of Amatrice had planned to build 500 temporary houses to accommodate the affected residents, but so far, more than half of the houses remain unfinished.

The spokesman for “Transparent Reconstruction”, the civic monitoring project born after the experience of Terremoto Centro Italia, admitted that there is currently no public list of the damaged buildings.

The only information comes from Copernicus, a European Union programme that, using satellite imagery, assessed the state of the buildings in the affected areas, making the data publicly available. At the moment, however, as specified by the Civil Protection, all areas affected by the earthquake are still in an emergency state, which is intended to expire on 28 February 2018.

The president of the Marche region, Luca Ceriscioli declared that all the 32 thousand evacuated people have been provided with a temporary accommodation. By the end of the year, 90% of the evacuee, should be given a prefabricated house. The Mayor of Amatrice stated that Amatrice will become a smart city endowed with cutting-edge technology but the original medieval plan will be the basis of the reconstruction. 

At the moment, a plastic in scale 1/100 is being prepared, showing how the city will be reconstructed: no buildings above three floors, no communal building, which will be replaced by a large square, and walls and bastions that were built by the French will be reconstructed. The construction will take a long time: at least two years for design, and four for realization. Not to mention the time needed to complete the rubble removal.  

Giulia Lombardo

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