7 out of ten comunes in Italy at risk from landslides or flooding

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12/09/2009 - 17:22

on the news and in the papers today a report from the lega ambiente and the civil protection group..ok... i know many will say the lega ambiente is one of those green complaining groups ...but the civil protection group can not be classed that way... they are the front line workers in all large calamities here in Italy..   anyway there are two distinct problems.. landslides and flooding... http://www.ilsole24ore.com/art/SoleOnLine4/Italia/2009/12/legambiente-frane-alluvioni-rapporto.shtml?uuid=1703a766-e4cc-11de-861f-a01de3f7162a&DocRulesView=Libero   this is the general outlook for Italy as reported in il sole 24... the most serious of the newspapers here in Italy... http://www.primadanoi.it/notizie/12145-Legambiente-in-Abruzzo-7-comuni-su-10-hanno-case-in-aree-a-rischio   and because i have more interest in Abruzzo here is a specific Abruzzo report...   highlights from the overall Italian report say that at the worst 100 % are at risk " con picchi del 100% in Calabria, Umbria e Valle d'Aosta, del 97% nel Lazio e dell'87% in Piemonte e Campania."  the worrying part is that many of those areas at the highest risk located in the south and sicily have no provision at all for any intervention during a tragedy.. Sicily in fact having no plan at all in place as was highlighted in recent tragedies there... Abruzzo does not do that wonderfully.. of the 4 provincial capitals 3 are at risk and none of them have sufficient planning in place to cope.. Chieti,Pescara and L'Aquila... here in Teramo you have coastal areas such as Tortoretto Lido which has a disaster every time heavy rain falls... the risk of damage and injury or death here in Italy in relation to theses problems is higher than seismic risk.. is largely preventable and or manageable and yet most of the comunes where the risk is highest do little "Ancora numeri, eloquentis simi. 5.581 comuni italiani a ri schio idrogeologico di cui 1.700 per frane, 1.285 per alluvioni, 2.596 per frane e alluvioni insieme. Nella sola Sicilia, 272 comuni a rischio e 91 nel Messinese. Il record appartie ne al Piemonte con 1.046 comuni in pericolo, l’opposto della Sarde gna che ne registra appena 42." anyway... its a thing to consider.. many people looking on Italy as a dry country.. yet each year with the first major autumn rains it all starts again.. dry river beds turn into torrents and whole sides of hills and mountains fall carrying all in their wake...  largely in areas where abusive building has taken place... so destroying all he natural barriers...  look carefully where you buy..there is always evidence of natural land problems.. roads here take an age to get repaired when they collapse... so its easy to see when driving to a property... and sweet little streams flowing gently through you garden can be slightly more problematic when you are in a country where dry days are common but when it rains you get a months supply in a day...      



  Frana (landslides) are common all over any Mountainous regions of Italy. Here in Northern tuscany we get our fair share with most of the small mountain villlages around here being affected. We had two large ones last year....one running through our village and the other taking out half the road down the mountain......which still over a year ago has not been fixed and has resulted in the road being left slightly less tahn 2 meters wide at one point; which means any trucks have to take a 13 Km detour in order to get to the village...not popular.... The biggest problem is that most Commumes cannot afford to repair these roads so the infastructure never gets fully back to normal......Thanks Mr B    for taking away the singular most important revenue stream to our Commumes...ICI.

The recent disaster in Messina was exactly because of this. Even though Bertolaso, the head of the Italian Protezione Civile, has been complaining about this for a long time little is being done. And Gromit is right - most towns, especially in Southern Italy, are strapped for cash. Modica, close to us avoided bankruptcy by selling some of their buildings. While, the main road in Modica used to be a river bed (which would place it at serious risk!) the river was diverted in the 1920s when (it seems) they still had cash to do such things!

Well as a non - resident I do pay ICI so I'm pretty much disgusted at the state of our road.Its probably only going to take one more winter like last year and it will be impassable. 5 years back it was perfectly ok.  Personally I'd gladly pay up my 150 euros each year if the comune would carry out any sort of repair. They do seem pretty good at sending out teams of men to strim the verges in the summer - our friends lost their phone and interenet last summer when the fire they lit set fire to a telegraph pole! I think there needs to be more joined up thinking in these comunes. I'm sure some people do work hard and not cluster around the coffee machine for endless chats and coffee - that must just be when I come in? Perhaps if the receptionist was a bit more interested in helping with the query in hand rather than trying  to sell me her house I might get somewhere ! I think I posted here a few years back on farming methods and got told off for offending Italians!! I expect Italians might feel even more offended to find their house buried under a landslide! Anyway both farming and building methods need a total overhaul to prevent these tragedies. And comunes need a good kick up the a..e!!

 Going back to my previous post we have just had a few guys out on the road with a BobCat clearing debris/leaves from the side of the road and gutters.......looks like no repair this year then; just hope that clearing the gutters will let the water flow off the road into the drains and away.........they are adopting the 'Fingers Crossed' approach as still no money in the pot.....we'll be lucky to get the gritting done at this rate. I'm with myabruzzohome, I'd gladly pay €150+ if it meant that our raods were maintained and repaired.

  As with many things it seems to vary so much between comunes, ours are good for a village of 800 people they employ 7 workers, who do a good job in clearing and maintaining roads, and also with snow forecast clearing that from our white road as well. Whereas the next village along with a larger population seems to employ one old guy and his dog....and the dogs pretty past his prime too! A