Earthquake in Italy: three hours under the rubble

earthquake-1665898_960_720«In 142 seconds, the entire town of your childhood disappears.  All that was built through the centuries is razed to the ground like a paper castle in 142 unending, damned seconds, and 299 lives are taken away from their loved ones. “Everything crumbles, and all is vanity of vanities,” is the phrase that echoes in my head while I write».

This is how Lorenzo, 18, from the Marche Region started to recount his experience of remaining under the ruins of his house for some hours on 24 August.

«It was 3.36 in the morning, they said, when a roar, a quake and an infernal phenomenon of dust and piles of rubble woke me up. Then came what some defined using the words of a poet, as the “quiet after the tempest.” All stood still in profound silence and it was pitch black. I was suddenly trapped in a space the size of my body. And with every small quake, a cloud of dust rose around me. My life was dangling on a string.
Then at dawn, the village rescuers took me out of what I once called home and which is now just a pile of bricks starting again to call out to me. I want to share with you the joy of that moment, but words are not enough.

Rescued after three hours in that inferno, there was destruction everywhere but in all this I could see only one thing: love. All went out to help the other, even placing their own lives in danger. Heedless of the hazards, they were really ready to give their lives. Sadly, or luckily, humanity gives the best of itself in suffering.

Suffering is precisely the theme of my experience. I felt that despite all the people around my house, nobody could help or understand me. While praying I asked, “Why me?” and I thought: “My God, why have you abandoned me?” In reality he had not abandoned me, and when I came out I discovered why this experience has become a sort of lens through which I could see a different world, giving me the strength to live my life at best.».

From the night of 24 August, and after the quakes of the succeeding months, there are still so many displaced victims of the Central Italy earthquake. These are people who had to leave their own homes, their properties and some even their own village. We really ask ourselves what they were able to bring with them after that tragic and eternal night, and what is giving them the strength to go ahead and start again. We chose Lorenzo’s story because it relays not only the fear lived that day, but also the discovery of something greater.

Italy is strong, and is demonstrating great unity. There are many associations that are helping the earthquake victims, immediately involved through AMU, AFN and others to respond to the various needs. They tell us how they are working in the areas of Central Italy.  «We are bringing animation activities ahead, and building a small meeting centre to allow the residents to keep up their community spirit. Then our efforts focused greatly on the support of the small agri-food enterprises of the territory, to allow them to continue operating in this emergency phase, and not to lose their jobs.» To support the small enterprises, they thought of creating a real project: «The progetto RimPRESA project. It consists of two lines: furnishing raw materials, machinery, and small infrastructure, and supporting the sales of products. Of course, at the base of all this, there must be human relationships with the people struck by the earthquake.»

Source: Teens, work in progress 4 unity, New City editorial group, Rome 2016, n.6, pages 4-5


To collaborate:

Azione per un Mondo Unito ONLUS (AMU) Azione per Famiglie Nuove ONLUS (AFN)

IBAN: IT16 G050 1803 2000 0000 0120 434

at Banca Popolare Etica

IBAN: IT55 K033 5901 6001 0000 0001 060

at Banca Prossima

CAUSE : Emergenza terremoto (Italia)

All contributions that are deposited in these two accounts for this cause will be jointly administered by AMU and AFN.

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