martedì 7 aprile 2009

"Rural Impressions" about the Earthquake

I have been very impressed by the large number of victims caused by the recent earthquake in Abruzzo Region: at present about 175. I have been very impressed by the imagines of destruction, the sorrow of victims' parents and relatives, the confusion of local people...

Yet, there is something has impressed me more. The quasi total destruction of many small rural villages.

I live in a small rural village in Central Italy quite similar to those involved by the earthquake.
Like the villages destroyed yesterday in Abruzzo, also the village where I live is an old medieval village built over a rock protuberance composed of an intricate network of narrow lanes and small squares surrounded by old houses made of stones. Many buildings have been built in XI and XII century.

These houses are made only of stones: they are leaning on each other clung to the rocks sheer on a deep ravine. Here about 90% of the villages are build in this way; old villages made of stones and wood clung to the mountains.

So I wonder: how much Rural Italy has been build of stones like the villages in Abruzzo? How many new houses have been built in this way without respecting anti-earthquake norms? How many other rural villages will be destroyed in the next earthquake while families are sleeping?

Recently Italian government proposed a law to allow people to freely enlarge houses for 20% or 30% in case of complete reconstruction. So I suggest: instead of this useless permission, why not to destine adequate resources and incentives to (re)build italian rural villages on anti-earthquake bases?

Any suggestion is welcome.

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