I just thought of breaking my hiatus for a quick update on something terrible and shocking that happened yesterday in the area where I live, the Riviera del Brenta.
Italy is not exactly a tornado-friendly country, but with the climate change (especially in the past few years) these extreme, one of a kind tragedies are piling up summer after summer, getting more and more dangerous, most of all because our homes are not built to blow up easily and harmlessly.
we have stone-hard brick walls, shingle rooftops, glass windows that shatter, very old trees right next to the house, gazebos, .. when these houses were built the plan was not hey, if a tornado comes we’ll pick up what’s left and get a new pre-made home installed – and nobody I know has a safe room underground to go hide and wait it out. these are things we used to see only in films, or watch on the telly when they sadly happen in the States.
well, yesterday afternoon I had just come home from the local chemist’s to pick up BaBa’s flea treatment, and I saw the sky had turned dark and violet, quite unusual at 4PM.
I checked the weather app and nothing stroke me as insanely ominous: just rain and high winds. well, in about 90 minutes it started hailing out of nowhere, no rain, no clouds: just balls of ice falling from the sky, scattered all around the garden.
I closed all the windows and double glazing, rushed out to check on Pablita and put the vase I didn’t have time to wash in a safer corner of the house; I picked up the few plants I hadn’t had time to sow outdoors in the morning and took them in under the rain and the hail. I stopped under the gazebo where I spotted Pablita to take a look at the sky: the clouds were chasing each other like in fast forward, the air was ice cold and the winds were blowing fiercely, pushing and pulling me in one direction or the other.
my sis and I found a downstairs window from which we could watch what was happening with BaBa on the kitchen table behind us, ears pulled to the back in fear. luckily nothing more than than happened: hail and strong winds. when the worse had passed, Pablita came out to drink the rain that was flowing like small rivers and we called it our home-alone summer adventure of the week.
hours later the news spread that ville 5 to 10 minutes from here had been torn down to the ground, ancient stone all over the main street; houses with no rooftop as if a giant had picked it up to peep at what was going on inside, cars thrown in the canal, trees uprooted and concrete broken where there used be its roots. many people injured, some very badly, one or two fatalities, .. so much damage they immediately classified it as a calamity, a natural disaster between the F3, F4 category.
here’s a couple of links that show the entity of the damages in the towns nearby, they’re in Italian but even without the text pictures are already pretty effective:
- local night news that aired last night on the telly
- article published in the morning with videos and slideshows
I am very much afraid this bend of the canal doesn’t look like this anymore.
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I’m still shocked and terrified, and thankful, above all thankful that we managed to dodge this one. I heard of relatives that won’t forget yesterday afternoon: some lost the house, some hopefully just the roof and the gazebo, some lost their dog, sucked out of the house by the vortex.
I’m quite speechless and shellshocked but I thought you might want to know how I was doing.