News2016 earthquake: Italy mourns the dead of Amatrice

2016 earthquake: Italy mourns the dead of Amatrice

On August 24, 2016, an earthquake shook central Italy, killing almost 300 people, and leaving many more homeless. People face an uncertain future – until today.

Amatrice – Between collapsed houses in the Italian town of Amatrice, a firefighter runs lonely towards the cloudy sky. It is one of the many images that come up again five years after the earthquake disaster in central Italy.

Politicians and society representatives paid tribute to the victims of the quake on Tuesday. Prime Minister Mario Draghi also paid a visit to the community, but had to leave quickly because of the scheduled G7 meeting on the situation in Afghanistan. In the morning he laid a wreath at the memorial for the victims and celebrated a service.

“I am here today to bring you the government’s trust and commitment,” Draghi said at a meeting with families of victims. Reconstruction work has progressed slowly in the past, but it is now faster, according to the former head of the European Central Bank.

Magnitude six tremors

On August 24, 2016, a six-magnitude earthquake struck Amatrice and the surrounding areas. Almost 300 people lost their lives in Amatrice, Accumoli and Arquata del Tronto. The traces of the destruction can still be seen in many communities today. Historic old towns were in ruins, people stood in front of the ruins of their houses – and their existence.

Amatrice 2016


Rubble desert: Amatrice after the disaster of 2016.

Life there is still complicated today, said the deputy mayor of Amatrice, Massimo Bufacchi, the German press agency. Only now does the actual construction begin. There are many difficulties for the people who have decided to stay in the place. “For example, there is no real hospital that is currently being rebuilt – with an important donation from the German government,” he said.

Amatrice should be resurrected more alive, but above all more secure, added Bufacchi. “The story has undeniably been lost, and the wounds that the earthquake left in the community are really difficult to overcome.” .

Slow rebuilding

For the more than 130 municipalities in the regions of Lazio, Abruzzo, Marche and Umbria affected at the time, there is still a lot to do. Reconstruction is progressing slowly, reported Giovanni Legnini, the government-appointed commissioner who is responsible for the aftermath of the earthquake.

On Tuesday he emphasized that the number of building inquiries and approved construction sites had doubled this year – compared to the same period last year. The problem, however, is that although there are many construction companies working in the communities, there is a lack of experts to manage the plans.

Around 411 million euros have already flowed into the construction of public buildings, according to a Legnini report. Companies, administration and unions also agreed on protocols to prevent illegal work. Organized crime is infiltrating reconstruction.

With the plan for the economic reconstruction of Italy after the corona pandemic, the government in Rome also decided on an earthquake package that comprises around 1.78 billion euros. A fund for earthquake victims, which many residents have been demanding for years, is also being planned.

Because there are thousands of construction sites. Churches and characteristic places are repaired and rebuilt, including many residential buildings. Amatrice is symbolic of the catastrophe in the entire region. dpa

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