Why dont they want you to know.

adriatica Image
08/21/2009 - 17:09

 got prompted by a post about children to write a bit on the day before the earthquake... which it seems that the people that run L'Aquila at least would like to be kept quite... even had videos removed from you tube and its rarely mentioned on main stream media here....  around 23.30 there was a big quake that pretty well had all the residents of L'Aquila and surronding villages out on the street on the night that four hours later killed so many...what happens here when their is a situation like this and  people want info they contact the civile protection group and / or their local politicians... then things get spread pretty quickly word of mouth wise... each comune has a sort of emergencey person plus the comunes own police force to sspread word... and that sort of thing so at 23.30 that night most people worried were contacting these various channels and were advised to go back to bed... many...very many in the city and the villages followed this advice from the comune and the civil protection group... with noted exceptions... at midnight they eveacuated the prefettura of L'Aquila...the place where all the people that control and advice on emergencies were ... messages were sent out to many friends in high places to leave their homes too or take precautions... so whilst telling the population to go back to bed...people like the mayor were making other arrangements it seems... fine... we all know politics here in Italy is a dirty business...  but the thing is since then its almost impossible to get any clear info on these facts... like i say ... they had the you tube video removed...papers do not really want to know and you have to go onto various blogs to find out most probably the worst kept secret of the Laquila politicians.... a google search will pick up many of these stories.... and video records...  if you search with the following phrase la prefettura dell'aquila e stata evacuata alle 23.30   you dont even need to put the date it...in four hours i reckon they could have pretty well cleared the historic centre of the city....  its actually not that big... i mean L'Aquila has a population of around 70,000 in total... a football stadium size population... how long does it take to get people out of there... and the historic centre... you wouldnt even be talking a quarter of that...  and the other smaller places... easy... why didnt they spend time doing that... theres the question everyones asking of the people supposed to represent them..  running off after telling their population to go back to bed and watching the city fall down from a safe distance



In reply to by Russ

Too right Russ - who's going to suggest it to them? Flop, our adopted dog from L'Aquila still wakes up barking some nights when he feels a tremor, so goodness knows what the people living in the tents feel when another one happens. If it sounds like much of this could have been avoided, then it really is disgusting.

What possible malicious motivation could make The Powers That Be tell people to go back to bed when they knew there was going to be a big earthquake in a few hours? Even if you buy into the lazily cynical view that politicians all over the world are all corrupt and self-serving, what do they possibly gain by having a few hundred people killed in an earthquake? Even if you think that every Italian politician is wilfully wicked and insatiably greedy, what do they gain by doing this?One thing the Internet is wonderful at is enabling the propagation of conspiracy theories. And, frankly, this all sounds to me rather similar to the stories going around after 9/11 that there were no Jews in the Twin Towers. This, too, was supposedly a "fact" that powerful people and agencies worked tirelessly to conceal.People will always want to understand why something happened. That's human nature. The need to understand and place blame becomes even more pressing when one has lost a family member or a house.Unfortunately, the simple fact is that nobody can predict earthquakes. Even if Italian politicians were evil enough to figure out a way to profit more if an earthquake killed 500 people than they would if it killed nobody, they could not have arranged for that to happen.Even assuming that 70,000 people could have been evacuated from the city in a couple hours without there being any panic (and possibly deaths due to that), the simple, unfortunate fact is it was impossible to know that there was going to soon be another, larger earthquake. I assume the calculation of those in charge was that it was likely that an evacuation would have achieved nothing other than causing huge amounts of ill-feeling, and probably worse than that if there had been deaths during the process. Moving a few civil defence functionaries from one building to another is an entirely different matter. Has anybody asked how often that has been done in the past?In any case, where exactly were those 70,000 people supposed to go in the middle of the night? Or do those who suggest this should have happened also believe that the PC should have set up and manned their blue tent cities long before the earthquake? And of course an evacuation would not have involved just 70,000 people of all ages and all degrees of mobility, it would have been 70,000 people desperate to bring along their pets, their cars and absolutely everything in their house which they considered to have significant monetary or sentimental value.What I'd still like to know is why so many people were living in buildings that collapsed during what was, in global terms, only a middling sort of earthquake. I seem to recall hearing something about how all inhabited buildings in Italy are supposed to meet some sort of seismic standard. As well as the question of how it was possible for very modern buildings to suffer major damage or collapse, how was it possible that people were living in ancient houses that apparently had not had seismic work carried out and so collapsed into a heap of stone and tiles when shaken about a bit for 30 seconds?If I knew when I bought it that this house had not had seismic strengthening work done on it but I chose to buy it and live here in spite of that and it then suffered major damage during the earthquake, the difficult fact to face is that I would be mainly responsible for any harm suffered by myself or my family. That would be a hard burden to bear and I'd be less than human if I didn't look around for someone else to share the blame.I think it would be an entirely different story if the work had supposedly been done and signed off by someone from the comune, but the house then collapsed in a heap in a minor tremor.If people are looking for officials to hang out to dry after the L'Aquila earthquake, it seems to me that it should be any architects, engineers, builders and inspectors who said everything was up to standard on a building when events proved that was just not so. As far as the disaster response folk are concerned, I think it's valid to press them to make sure they learn lessons on how to respond better next time (and there inevitably will be a next time), but it seems to me unreasonable to be wise after the event and blame them for not having psychic powers which would have allowed them to predict the earthquake, its severity and how it would affect many buildings which were supposedly up to standard.Al(Editted to sort out the paragraph spacing which someone here has changed. It would be nice if this site worked somewhat similar to the rest of the internet.)

Thanks for your common sense evaulation, Al.  Predicting earthquakes is impossible.  And even if the powers that be were concerned that a larger earthquake was imminent, there was no predicting when it would happen.  As well, most people would have chosen to stay in their homes rather than evacuate.   After living in California, I know how the locals adapt to the constant tremors!!    

 Cialente, on the first of April 2009, just five days prior to the earthquake, to the following people:- The Office of the Prime Minister (Civil Defence Department)- Regional Governor Gianni Chiodi- Regional Councillor for Civil Defence, Daniela Stati- L’Aquila Prefecture "In the light of the serious and continuing episodes of seismic events that began on 16 January this year in the form of a daily “seismic swarm” of 200 or more shocks and culminating in a level four quake on 30 March, I hereby request that urgent and appropriate funding be provided to cover preliminary emergency measures, and that a state of emergency be declared for the purpose of undertaking the necessary interventions to repair both public and private buildings. Furthermore, I hereby wish to specifically report the serious structural damage caused to two school buildings housing five hundred pupils   thats a telegram from the mayor of L'Aquila after a meeting with the head of the civil protection group... Al posto del cemento c'era della plastica», allarga le braccia un vigile del fuoco. Di cemento c'era soltanto un sottile spessore che non ha retto la scossa. Il risultato: tonnellate e tonnellate di materiale sono crollate sulle scale, proprio quelle da cui dovevano fuggire gli studenti. I vigili del fuoco e i professori che ieri camminavano con le torce elettriche per i corridoi bui e deserti dell'università non nascondono la rabbia: «Questa non è un'università, ma una trappola per topi». Tutti indicano le aule: decine, ma sotto il livello del terreno. Un docente allarga le braccia, forse immaginando anche se stesso in cerca di una introvabile via di fuga: «Se la scossa fosse arrivata in una normale mattina di lezione, non si sarebbe stato scampo».   thats one of the reports about a university building... they used spray foam instead of armoured cementtheres is also another report of ten years previous to the event sent to the comune of L'Aquila outlining that there were at least 500 buildings within L'Aquila proper not built or upgraded to the norms of a class 1 seismic area including the university building that collapsed on its sleeping students and the prefectura...as regards ways of doing things... the Jehova witnesses of L'Aquila adviced all its members to prepare for a major disaster... to have mobile phones close,prepare bags,park cars away from all buildings and during times of high seismic activity to sleep in cars away from buildings... all JW members survived the quake...and are sustaining efforts still to help those less fortunate....  all done before the big one that collapsed buildings... but if you see the mayors telegram its obvious that they knew buildings were already showing major problems and that there was belatedly real concern...... because they already knew well that given a major quake L'Aquila and many of its building were going to fall...  its also quite well documented that the province did not implement the class 1 seismic regulations which it had been assigned allowing buildings of recent construction to be built well outside national regulationsis that were set for the area but not aproved by the local government... all of the province of L'Aquila is assigned as a class 1... (the highest) at risk of earthquake damage www.byoblu.com/post/2009/04/26/Andate-e-pubblicatene-tutti.aspxthats the link to a woman who tried to warn the people of Paganica to leave their homes... suceeded with a few... but was in competition with the civil protection there...telling everyone to go home..and back to sleep after they had been shaken out of bed between 11.00 and 12.00 that night...  her thoughts and her criticism of what happened have been continuosly censored since.... earthquake.rm.ingv.it/data_id/2206494080/event_out.phpearthquake.rm.ingv.it/data_id/2206495180/event_out.phpearthquake.rm.ingv.it/data_id/2206496920/event_out.phpthose are the three events.. the last one being the 3.32 big one... the first two being the quakes at around 11-12 that night...  you may notice that these two although less in intensity were at the same depth as the 3.30 one... and would have been felt even more in Aquila because they were centred at 3km from the city...the big one at around 6-7 km...its also relevant if you believe in people power and that you are interested in anything much apart from point scoring that there are many blogs from quite respected although non establishment people from all sides here ...that are seriously asking questions not about the civil protection group but abouts its less than respected leader...  everyone recognises that those on the ground did the best of what could be done at a great cost to their own safety... ...    what you have o do is read the postings from people in reply to articles or news to get a real fell for what went on... and it takes time...as regards california... well you tell me in california what would happen if they had the main emergency hospital closed during the emergencey... because it had been built by a company renowned here for such sterling efforts as the salerno regia calabria motorway ... built of less cement than in my own houses roof ... or the student home built with foam.... would they be qquite so content at the thought of a big shake one night...if they had Italian politicians and building firms involved ... Italians have the knowledge of history... recent...if you look at the school built ten years ago in campobasso and which killed all of one class... because they had skimped ... that is the comune politicians and their family building firms on the work... pocketed millions from the EU...The hospital in L'Aquila was built by the same company that has built several hospitals along the Appenine fault line... even the high speed rail links... and were due to build the bridge to Sicily... they are renowned for their government contracts and their dislike of cement in building works...  sand comes in much cheaper.....  

 could be my last word on the subject... but who can tell...regarding evecuations and advice to citizens... luckily we do not live in L'Aquila province but that of Teramo... a choice based on many things...not just the seismic activity...  but in a fre world we all make outr own choices and there are many people that prefer L'Aquila to the coastal side of Abruzzo... and justly so..anyway after the main quake in L'Aquila... in fact that morning... civil protection people were advisng many people that contacted them to sleep in cars... many more just did it anyway...  Teramo the city looked like a seaside holiday resort the next day as tents were pitched and caravans dragged into parking lots or gardens...  sports fieldes etc...used for emergency accomodation... all on the advice of civil protection people... we even had a phone call from ex-clients up near cermignano to see if we knew a place to stay because they had arrived from England and were not allowed to go in their house because the church next door was considered to be in a dangerous state...now we are talking Teramo here... historically an abruzzo province with no major quakes ever... and damge in the north of the province which runs along the ascoli piceno fault line.. not one of the major fault line areas but active enough in the sense of little tremors...now depending on where you read ...ingv the italian site records the quake as 5.8 all other world sites record it at 6.3... sited 6.3km from L'Aquila along the known fault line that runs from the Po valley all the way to the south of Italy ... so why did half the population of this province either get sent off to sleep in cars when there is no real chance that any major quake will happen here... indeed the effects although worrying for many would have been much inferior to the previous three months of quakes centred on L'Aquila  ... the last two of very close to the surface... causing damage... but not collapses and yet people apart from Jehova Witnesses followed instructions to get back into their buildings...small communities here in Teramo the day after were being told not to sleep in houses... small villages that is not huge cities...  sleep in a caravan tent or car away from structures was the advice... in some cases instruction that had to be followed...so waht makes L'Aquila so different to the rest of Abruzzo... why were not people given this advice...its not a mass evacuation...Teramo managed it and is on a par in size with L'Aquila... small villages throughout the province were informed... tents in gardens and sports field apparent here for many weeks after the major quke as people refused to enter their homes through natural panic... supported by civil protection people and the advice they were giving out... and yet logically there is no danger here... not one person died in the province Teramo and apart from churches and comunes trying to jump on the relief bandwagon no habitable building totally collapsed...  and yes there are some buildings that did... but if you happened to know them if there had been a heavey lorry driving past you would have been suprised to see the building remain standing...so preventitive evacuation was used throughout provinces of Teramo, Chieti and Pescara...plus the southern L'Aquila area imediately in the aftermarth of the L'Aquila tragedy...  i believe also many people in Marche and Lazio also chose to or were told to sleep outside their buildings...   and yet the risk of any real quake damge this side of the Appenines is extremely minimal compared to that of the western appenines... makes little sense to me... either the arguements that evacutaion or limitation of human injury exercises could not have been affected quite simply as a precaution... in a city of such a small amount of people and its surrounding villages...

Any and all Civil Event Planning will have, as one of its first stages, the preservation of "key" people who will run the area after a disaster has struck. As the streets being full of evacuating people would prevent such action that would be a very strong motivation for the allegations. The problem is the politicians seeing themselves as "key" people in any way at all as all they do is get in the way and seek to make electoral gains from whatever disaster has happened. Who was it who said "any person seeking power should have the door firmly shut in their face" (or something like that.) I'm afriad that histroy is liitered with events where public officials look after themselves first then the people they are charged with protecting second.By the way Al, who was it who allowed these architects and everyone else you mention, to get away with it. Many people involved in building work try to cut corners and costs, corrupt and inefficient local politicians allowing them to get away with it are the real crooks.

Twitter How many of us have Twitter accounts on here - that's one way we can get this out to as many people as possible. Have already posted it once and asked people to RT, so if we can all do the same then hopefully someone, somewhere may take notice. Any luck Russ with the newspapers?

 probably a cynical POV but any reporting in foreign press will just bring the usual diatribe from Berlusconi that the communists are coming, and its just envy, greed, communism, Rupert Murdoch (delete as appropriate)  that are out to sling mud at his fantastic work.   Has anyone thought of contacting Le Iene - it seems to be the only truly investigative TV programme that isnt in thrall to government and produces results.