That the earthquake that shook the Turkey e Syria was more powerful than any recent earthquake was immediately pointed out by geologists and scientists, but even those who have worked in disastrous situations are affected by the devastation. “Here? Compared to the collapses, the situation is worse than what I saw in Amatrice. The buildings seem detonated, as if detonated voluntarily. They have completely collapsed,” the doctor told Ansa Christian Lupini she is the team leader of the Usar team – Lazio’s Ares 118 special research unit that left from Pratica di Mare last night. They are mixed teams, firefighters and 118 health personnel; 9 left Lazio. They are located just north of Antioch. Lupini is an expert, she was operative for the earthquake in central Italy. You speak on the phone with Ansa just before taking action: “We are moving towards the extraction site. We’ll start working in a small town within minutes. We will search deep rubble together with the firefighters. We will first make an assessment of the situation, then we will penetrate the rubble to search for survivors”.
The team landed at dawn “in a place about 100 kilometers from here. We spent two or three hours in the bus, then we were transferred to a support base. Along the way I saw buildings that were all collapsed, and those that didn’t collapse are visibly damaged. People sleep in cars – he continues – they are setting up reception camps. I saw several teams of firefighters from all over the world: Dutch, French, Slovakian, others from Eastern Europe”. Soon it will be their turn to get to work. Six-hour shifts, then we take turns. “I know that I’ll be working in a built-up area – Lupini continues – but I still don’t know how many floors the collapsed building had. How many hopes of finding someone?”. He stops for a moment before answering: “We work on that hope, we and the firefighters work to give that hope a chance.”