CATANIA – A fire front of at least three kilometers. A burning of weeds from via Fossa della Creta to via Palermo involved a large part of the San Giorgio district and came dangerously close to several buildings. The area under the equipped plank burns. At work the firefighters, also from Riposto, the army, the police and even the Navy aircraft that are trying to put out the vast fire.
One hell of a day
It’s a hell of a day: almost 300 requests for intervention since the morning. A hundred interventions carried out by the fire brigade until the evening, with another 200 requests in line. “The areas most affected by the fires are part of the Plaia di Catania and the various villages that follow one another along the coast towards the south (Villaggio Azzurro, Ippocampo di mare, Paradiso degli Aranci) and the Vaccarizzo area. Other areas particularly affected by the fires of vegetation and brushwood near homes and industrial and commercial settlements fall in the South area of Catania (Fossa Creta, via Palermo), in the Industrial Zone and in the Etna area, in particular in Gravina di Catania, Misterbianco and Mascalucia. Interventions also carried out in the Acireale, Caltagirone and Vizzini areas.
The airport is back in operation after a suspension of flights.
Set up a technical table
The Prefecture has set up a permanent table to deal with the emergency with the Municipality, Fire Brigade, Civil Protection, Coast Guard. “The situation is really difficult – explains the city councilor Fabio Cantarella – the mayor Pogliese is personally following the evolution of the facts. A dozen buildings between via Palermo and via Leotta have been destroyed. Like many seaside villas in the villages of Vaccarizzo. We immediately set up the Palaspedini with the Red Cross to give hospitality to the displaced. Two families are already on their way. It is not easy to give a precise number of how many people will arrive, because many are going to relatives or have another home where they can stay. On the fires front, everything is very complicated. There is a lack of means and men, the flames also threaten the PalaGalermo. It will be a long night ”.
Flames and despair in the seaside villages
The flames reached the houses of the seaside villages. Desperate people who see their homes burn. Some are holed up in the house. To extinguish the fires there are also the policemen or the residents themselves with makeshift means. To avoid explosions, take the cylinders away.
The Huts burn
The flames reached the playa: the Le Capannine beach was evacuated. In a video the cry of pain of the managers who still remember the fire that several years ago devastated the entire area of Viale Kennedy.
Closed the equipped axis
For safety reasons, traffic along the equipped axis has been inhibited. This has caused numerous inconveniences to the roads. In addition, the State Road 114 in the direction of Catania has been blocked. The traffic police have closed the access on the highway to the ramp leading to the state road. The long queues on the ring road are physiological.
The Anas note: “Due to a fire on the side of the road, the state road RA 15“ Tangenziale Ovest di Catania ”is temporarily closed to traffic in both directions, between km 21,000 and km 24,000 in Catania. Traffic is currently being diverted to the local road network with reports on the spot. On site there are Firefighters and Police Forces as well as Anas teams for the management of the roads, to allow the reopening in safety in the shortest possible time “.
Fear in via Fossa della Creta
“I am with my sister who had to leave the house with her children”, says Pietro Crisafulli, who a few minutes ago recorded a live (published in the article, ed) from the heart of the fire that lapped several houses from where they were brought away the cylinders. The fear is that they can explode. “Then they made me leave because the situation is dangerous,” he explains again.
Fire in the cemetery
“The stake is headed for the cemetery. Some graves are already surrounded by smoke, ”adds Crisafulli.
Smoke has invaded the carriageway of the ring road. The black blanket can be seen from different parts of the city. Residents of the area, outside their homes, are afraid.
Burn house in via Palermo
At number 284 in via Palermo the flames have reached a house. Unfortunately, the fire is also putting the building that houses the Pietro Mascagni school at risk.
A nursery at risk
Another incendiary front is affecting the industrial area. Precisely the avenue of the Region that goes from the cemetery to Sibeg. A nursery is also in danger. The flames also reached outside Pfizer’s labs.
The Etna countryside is also burning
Another fire front is involving the countryside between Castiglione and Randazzo, after the famous restaurant “Quota mille”. “We see several dangerous outbreaks,” says an agricultural entrepreneur in the area.
Currently in the province of Catania there are almost 70 requests for interventions due to fire of vegetation and brushwood. Over 30 in Catania, where “the most delicate situation – say from the communication office of the Fire Brigade – is in the Fossa della Creta district and via Palermo”. Various vehicles and various fire brigade teams are employed here. There are 15 cases reported between Paternò, Ragalna and Biancavilla. 14 interventions in Calatino, where there was also an elderly burned. 6 finally between Acireale and Giarre.
The anger of associations
Fire emergency today in Fossacreta and fire risk in many other districts in Catania, the Romolo Murri committee asks for adequate solutions
“As was widely expected and reported, Catania continues to burn. This time the flames spread in the great green lung of the southern part of the city which concerns the districts of San Leone, Fossacreta, Librino and San Giuseppe La Rena. From late morning today, clouds of dense smoke prevent a perfect view and this inevitably affects the safety and viability of the area. In fact, whoever decides at this moment to pass through the Aided Axis does so at his own risk. Yet we are talking about a problem that regularly arises in the summer: there was in June, there is in July and there will be in August and September. Year after year. Why is this administration doing nothing to ensure the safety of citizens? Why is it not possible to prepare in good time (ie between March and April) an effective firefighting plan that prevents our fire brigade from jumping through hoops to save people and put out the flames? Since late afternoon today the green spot between Fossacreta and San Leone has been burning “, Thus the Romolo Murri committee, through its president Vincenzo Parisi, has been asking for some time to” re-evaluate, redevelop and give back to citizens those rural areas that are in the southern part of the city. Whole neighborhoods under shooting where by pure chance the tragedy did not escape us. But how long can you rely on luck? To date, the Romolo Murri committee, with its president Vincenzo Parisi, reiterates that so far the political will to prevent prevention has always been lacking. It is necessary to create firebreaks, pruning the greenery at precise intervals and the elimination, with the use of tractors, of brushwood starting from the next few days “.
The intervention of Ersilia Severino (Pd)
A new emergency that is endangering thousands of people in the districts of San Leone, Fossacreta, San Giuseppe La Rena and in the surrounding areas. From late morning today a large fire has been hitting the Mediterranean scrub inside the Monte Po Park. Flames fueled by the heat and licking the surrounding houses. In the previous months I had already launched an appeal for the fire emergency in the whole Etna province to be taken into due consideration. A warning absolutely not taken up by the competent institutions and today we are paying the consequences. The fire in via Cairoli last June did not teach anything and now, as President of the Provincial Assembly of Catania for the Democratic Party, I must note together with the thousands of Catania that there is still no fire prevention plan with the creation of fire-break strips or land reclamation in the areas most at risk. Whole neighborhoods such as Librino, Cibali, San Giovanni Galermo, Fossa della Creta, Monte Po, Nesima and even the same area of Viale Rapisardi live the fire emergency continuously and yet so far no one has lifted a finger. Today we talk about yet another fire emergency, but tomorrow?