The Deputy Mayor of Arquata: ‘A light after 5 years from the earthquake’

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“Finally, mentioning the word reconstruction is not out of place. In these four years, on each anniversary of August 24, practically nothing had begun. This year finally there are cranes in Arquata and in the non-perimeter hamlets and even if they are not many it is in any case, a signal on which to leverage; but we must not give up and, on the contrary, accelerate. There are no longer just words as in other anniversaries, but also facts “. The deputy mayor of Arquata del Tronto (Ascoli Piceno) Michele Franchi takes stock with ANSA of the situation five years after the earthquake that upset the villages of the Sibillini.

In the shock of 24 August 2016, Arquata counted about fifty victims (out of the total 299), almost all in the Pescara del Tronto hamlet, which was razed to the ground. “For the most affected hamlets of Arquata it is important that a document from the director for reconstruction has been approved and for the capital there is also a special order from Commissioner Legnini. Now you can see some light, even if the tunnel it remains very long “explains Franchi, who is leading the municipality after the death of the mayor Aleandro Petrucci, one of the symbolic figures of the resilience of local populations. The former mayor of Amatrice Sergio Pirozzi has raised the alarm regarding the interest of criminal organizations in the reconstruction money. “The danger is always there, but we have been very strict – observes Franchi -. Together with the late mayor Petrucci we have managed to remain immune from this problem, but our guard remains high, at all levels”.

The Municipality of Arquata was depopulated after the earthquake. The houses for the Sae earthquake victims (Emergency Housing Solutions) are occupied in all the hamlets, but many have not yet returned to their land. “40% of the people who lived here before the earthquake are still missing – explains Franchi -. What bodes well is that some small houses have become vacant because those who occupied them have returned to live in their homes. Many, however, still remain in the valley. in Ascoli above all. We hope that the reconstruction will accelerate to facilitate the return of others, without excluding those who occupy second homes, and there are not a few “. The latest news on the school front does not help and even risks driving some families away from Arquata. “After five years of struggles and battles thanks to the classes in San Benedetto del Tronto and then to the construction of the new school in Arquata donated by the Specchio dei Tempi Foundation, now for bureaucratic quibbles we risk having the policlasse even in middle school. force to the Ministry and to the director of the Filisetti Regional School Office that the policlasse does not take place and that additional staff is provided. A good school service – he insists – is essential to restart these villages, together with the other conditions for which we have worked so hard with Petrucci: work and a policy for the elderly. “We are ready to go to Rome to demonstrate, together with other mayors of earthquake-hit municipalities, also in Umbria”.