On the island of Vulcano, in the Aeolian archipelago, there is now fear of a situation that the Sicilian Region defines as “rapidly evolving”, so much so that tonight it has declared a state of emergency. Carbon dioxide emissions, which began last summer first from the top of the volcano and then also from some land at sea level, have reached guard limits and from next Monday the 250 inhabitants of the port area, about half the population of the entire island, they will not be able to sleep in their homes. This was established by an ordinance signed by the mayor of Lipari Marco Giorgianni who in the afternoon illustrated the situation to the local population, in the presence of the volcanologists who followed the evolution of the situation from the beginning.
In the measure, which lasts one month, there is also a stop to tourists who will therefore not be able to land on the island. Only commuters are allowed to disembark. The inhabitants of the forbidden zone will be able to go to their homes and carry out their activities during the day but they will not be able to live there from 11 pm to 6 am. The municipality has insured contributions for the overnight stay in the hotel. “There are data concerning the increase in gases – explained the mayor – which create very strong concern because they can be dangerous for public health. There is a heavy gas on the ground which reduces the amount of oxygen and creates breathing difficulties which can have lethal effects ». In recent weeks, the gases had killed some cats of the inhabitants of the port area where, the mayor revealed today, a daily emission of 480 tons of carbon dioxide was measured compared to the 80 tons that are recorded in “normal” times. .
The mayor, on the other hand, denied that the decision to evacuate the island is imminent but announced that the reliefs in the air and in the soil will be intensified, in all areas of the island starting from the urban center where most of the 500 inhabitants live. of Vulcano. Further equipment will be installed by the Ingv and in the meantime it has been decided to keep the medical guard open 24 hours a day, doubling the staff on duty. Giorgianni specified that in Vulcano the alert remains “yellow”, ie at the first stage that of “attention”, but the regional civil protection has asked for it to be raised to “orange”, that is to say that of “pre-alarm”.
“We cannot fail to protect the population – said the mayor Giorgianni -. It is clear that it will no longer be possible to stay in unsafe places. I was summoned to a meeting with all the authorities, Ingv, Civil Protection, Health Authority and the first hypothesis concerned the expulsion of the population. Instead, the solution passed that will concern the removal of people at night in the port area that has become more at risk. This area turns red, but only at night ».
During today’s council meeting, the Sicilian Region declared a state of crisis and emergency for the island. “The further increase in the emission of toxic gases recorded in recent days by the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology – said the president Nello Musumeci – requires the adoption of urgent precautionary measures, to protect public and private safety. . Our government is close to the community and is committed to collaborating with the mayor and with all national structures in managing the emergency ».