Sunday, October 02, 2011


Regular readers may remember that, following the Messina mudslides of the night of 1st - 2nd October 2009, I posted this tribute to Pasquale Simone Neri, the 29-year-old naval officer who saved eight people, then lost his own life as he returned to the main disaster area to try to save a child.

Two years on, the people of Giampilieri have been commemorating the disaster and 37 trees have been planted by the town's Mayor and the relatives of the 37 victims. The school that served as both a temporary morgue and an information centre on that dreadful night has been renamed in honour of Pasquale Simone Neri and Marco Dentici's film, Caldo Grigio, Caldo Nero, which was screened at this year's Venice Film Festival,  was shown in the town on Saturday evening.

The Mayor of Giampilieri says that most of those who lost their homes in the tragedy have now been rehoused and that those still waiting will be rehoused soon.  However, residents are angry because there has still been no public enquiry and most of the funding for reconstruction and new safety measures has come from the Sicilian Regional Government, whilst that promised by central government has not been forthcoming.  The town's inhabitants say they feel abandoned by central government which, they feel, regards them as second class citizens.

Although Sicilian Governor Raffaele Lombardo attended the commemoration event, no central government representative was present.

Marco Dentici - Caldo grigio, caldo nero

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