Italy is the most seismic active country in Europe and actually has at least one earthquake each day. The Apennines show the fault line that cuts vertically through the country. The European and African tectonic plates meet each other on this fault line and move with a speed of 3 cm/year. This “spine” of Italy, is also responsible for creating the Alps, Europe’s highest mountain range. Friction between these plates causes them to get stuck, the pressure builds up, and when this pressure is released, it results in an earthquake.
I saw a few inhabitants painting one of the houses which was actually his own house, I found out afterwards. I couldn’t resist to talk to this man and luckily he spoke English. He told me about the tragedy he went through. It was 11 years ago so he remembered everything so vividly. He said it was the most terrible thing he had seen. In addition to heavy shocks, rocks bigger than cars rolled down from the mountain next to the village and caused a lot of damage.
This was the main reason for the municipality to decide it was not allowed to return to the village. Most old inhabitants, like his mother moved to the foot of the mountain. I asked if he would ever move back to his old village. He said that most of the old people preferred living at the foot of the mountain now because everything is more even. Some of the youngsters are slowly starting to renovate some houses in the old village, but it won’t be as lively as it used to be. The Italian government tries to help the suffering villages. For example: it is possible to buy one of these houses for €1 only on certain conditions that shows preparedness to contribute to renovating the village or city.
11 years ago, in the middle of the night the village got hit by a horrific earthquake with a power of 5,8 on the Richter scale. The epicenter was just a few kilometers away from the village. The buildings got destroyed and inhabitants were surprised in their sleep. Many got injured and even a few got killed. If that wasn’t bad enough, the region got hit by an aftershock a few days later. Other villages in the region also suffered from this earthquake. Thousands of people lost their houses and their loved ones.
Can you imagine losing your loved ones, your village and your possessions all in one night? It didn’t matter whether you were poor or rich, everyone was hit and found themselves homeless and a refugee in their own country. The village turned into a ghost town.
Every house you can see is abandoned and was hit by this terrible earthquake. The streets which are completely neglected used to be maintained well by the inhabitants of the village. Cars, people, cats dogs, used to roam around these streets. Generations grew up together, everyone in this village knew each other because everyone went to the same school and the same stores.
People were obliged to leave their possessions behind. Therefore, everything which can be found in these houses is property of the owners. Nonetheless, people are not allowed to recollect their possessions due to danger of collapse. Thieves found their opportunity and took the most valuable items they could find. Some old inhabitants watch the streets to prevents thieves from stealing. When you see the houses, they appear safe but each house is supported by a few pillars to prevent them from collapsing. It looked so surreal to imagine people used to live in this village. It looks like a Hollywood set now.
Once back home I discovered that the village is also visable on Google streetview. It was a strange feeling, looking back.
Noi rappresentiamo un principio nuovo nel mondoWe represent a new principle in the world
Quello che dobbiamo conquistare ci interessa molto di più del già conquistatoWhat we have to conquer interests us much more than what we have conquered
Abandoned Farmacia / Pharmacy
I was lucky to admire the beautiful church from the inside I will make a separate post for this.