Tuesday, November 19, 2013

SARDINIA

Official flag of Sardinia


This has turned out to be an unkind autumn meterologically in several parts of the world and last night, as many of you will have seen in news reports in your own countries, the island of Sardinia was hit by a major cyclone, Ciclone Cleopatra.

The worst-affected area is the town of Olbia and the whole Gallura region is, according to Corriere della Sera, on its knees. The death toll at the moment is 18, including four children and the latest estimate is that 2,737 people have been made homeless.  

Tragically, a policeman escorting an ambulance was among the victims as the bridge which his vehicle was crossing collapsed in Dorgali [Nuoro]. Three of his colleagues were also injured and there is as yet no word on their condition.

Prime Minister Letta, who is on his way to Sardinia as I write, has declared a state of emergency and referred to the event as a national tragedy. His government has allocated €27 million for emergency relief and the miltary have already been deployed in the rescue and clearing up operation. 

Italy's Environment Minister, Andrea Orlando, has said that 17.3" of rain fell on the island last night - a figure equivalent to half the average rainfall there for a whole year. This has put an unbearable strain on Sardinia's water system. President of the Camera dei deputati Laura Boldrini has said that the tragedy has once again brought environmental issues to the fore and has called for more environmental protection measures.

As always in such circumstances, Italy has rallied to help those in need: Hotels in Olbia are receiving the displaced and a medical emergency room has been set up in a pharmacy as the local hospital is still difficult to reach. Following reports of the disaster late last night, I was impressed by the speed with which social media were being used to inform people about where they could go for help and to offer accommodation to those who have been evacuated.

President Napolitano has expressed his solidarity with and sympathy for the Sardinian people and Pope Francis, on twitter, has asked people to pray for the victims, especially the children.

5 comments:

Winchester whisperer said...

I'm so sorry to hear that - i'd missed it amongst all the storms in the Phils and the US

Lucia said...

God Bless them, i hope they get the help much needed and fast!

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, WW. Yes, so many terrible storms elsewhere lately. Hi, Lucia. Help is getting there - let's just hope it's sustained.

Lee said...

I saw that on the news the other day...so sad, the loss of lives.

When Nature goes on a rampage there really is very little us mere humans can do. It certainly brings us back to reality.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

I agree, Lee - nature is stronger than any of us.

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