The devastation of Emilia Romagna comes from 300mm of rain in just over 24 hours recorded in the areas most affected by the wave of bad weather in recent days: from rainfall intense that created the biggest emergency since the 2012 earthquake; another earthquake, as defined by the president of the Bonaccini Region. Rivers are flooded in one fifty of points, the landslides are over a hundred, with disastrous consequences: a balance, so far, of 14 deadtens of thousands of displaced and of people without electricityhundreds of streets interrupted, danni per billion. Yet those 300 millimeters are not even comparable to the rain that fell in the nearby Veneto during another disaster of devastating proportions: on days also marked by the boo storm which affected the Northeast mountains in 2018, in addition to the record winds, 715 millimeters of water were recorded in 70 hours. More than double, but they weren’t there flooding comparable to those of Emilia Romagna these days.
The works in the Veneto
Between the two territories, the first difference that catches the eye is given by the infrastructures. Veneto learned its lesson in 2010. The flood that devastated the Paduan e il Vicenza that year was the impetus to carry out anti-flood works for a billion and a half euros. Without it, 13 years earlier, an area of 140 square kilometers went under water. Between today’s safe territory and the 130 flooded municipalities of 13 years ago there are various lamination basins: especially that of Caldogno (Vicenza) is that of Montecchia di Crosara (Verona). I am large tanks in which to convey the excess water of the rivers, created thanks to emergency funds: specifically 3.5 billion allocated with the plan after the flood of 2010. «So far – he explained Giampaolo Bottacin, Councilor for the Environment and Civil Protection of Veneto – we have completed 5 basins, invested 400 million in consolidation works, 320 million in maintenance works. And we’re only halfway there. Already today, however, we can say that there has been an important turning point. The impactful events of 2018, 2019 and 2020 testify to this». The case par excellence referred to by the commissioner is precisely there Vaia storm of 2018during which they fell 715 mm of water in a short period of time. In addition to the uprooted trees, aqueducts broke, embankments collapsed, there were 130 landslides but the danni they have been a lot inferior eight years earlier.
In Emilia-Romagna 11 are incomplete
Faced with a much lower amount of rainfall, the rivers of Emilia-Romagna could not hold up: out of 23 flooded watercourses, 22 were overflowed, causing the apocalyptic scenes that went around the world. In recent years, the Region has planned to build additional «containment boxes», to vent the watercourses during phenomena such as the latter. However, construction sites are far from over. Between 2015 and 2022, more were destined 190 million euros for the construction of 23 basins but when the latest emergency exploded, only 12 were functional. Nine are still to be finished, two others are partially working. «In some territories, in the last 24 hours, they have even fallen 300mm of water», underlined President Bonaccini, recalling how the land was already saturated with water: «There are infrastructures that have almost been swept away». To aggravate the situation, then, the consumption of the soili.e. the occupation of an originally agricultural, natural or semi-natural surface with an artificial cover… In a word: buildings. In this respect, theEmilia Romagna is the fourth region in Italy, with a consumption of 9 percent, the third region for the increase in the figure. Even if it does better than Veneto – second on the cement podium in Italy (10.9%), after Lombardy (12.4%) – the figure is not sufficient to reverse the effects of the record bad weather on the territory. So said the last, umpteenth, emergency.