Earthquake: the unexpected can ruin your life

Earthquake: the unexpected can ruin your life

We are living in a bubble of beliefs which allows us to feel secure and not bothered by unexpected events like an earthquake. We simply negate that they could happen. This is a good thing for our psyche because we cannot live in a permanent state of fear and anxiety without damaging our psyche and our soul. There are events in life which push us right back into this precarious way of living, horrible times like wars which leave permanent marks in people going through this long term thread – and smaller events, but nevertheless devastating, like earthquakes, which remind us that nothing is really safe and secure in life.

I wrote the following post the day after the first big earthquake here in Italy which killed 300 people. We had more of that in the meantime, here i n Italy and in other places of the world. I will publish further considerations in time. Here already a blogpost I wrote in my website-community.

This is my oribinal post of the DAY AFTER:

Last night I woke up because my bed trembled. Earthquake. I jumped up and ran to the door (you always should try to go outside or to the door-spaces), but it was already over.

Nothing happened to me, and also nothing in the 2 next quakes, But this morning I understood that, about 40km direct distance, the earthquake has destructed yet another town. Houses tumbled, people under the stones of their previous houses, helpers coming, but cannot arrive because the street is blocked by the landslide.

20 years ago when a huge earthquake destructed parts of the famous San Francis church in Assisi I was directly there, safe, outside the house on solid ground. When you are not fearful, an earthquake can be the most astounding experience of your life. Imagine the force of a starting airplane which you can feel in your stomach. An earthquake is 500 times that, or even more.

The infinite power of our planet. We often forget that when we think we could dominate nature. Good to get the reminder sometimes.

Then the people, that is another story.

2 years ago we visited Nocera Umbra, the epicenter of the earthquake of 20 years ago. It was still not finished, still some houses and public places to repair – and nobody living there. A ghost town. Who would come back after 20 years?

This is the real drama of earthquakes, here in Italy, but probably in many countries in the world. The money collected from helpful people disappears somewhere, the re-building process is incredibly slow. The people get some housing somewhere, far from their previous neighborhood, from their work place – if they were lucky enough not to have their workshop or restaurant or whatever under the ruins. Then what to live of, from now on?

It is like your roots being torn out of your soil. Yes, most people survive the earthquake physically, but the inner earthquake and the social condition they are forced into, will completely change their life. If you want to help, the best thing is to go there, directly, and support private initiatives.

Women often respond quickly to the necessities and create self-help groups which, at a certain point, become truly political, as it happened in Aquila, the town destructed by an earthquake about 10 years ago. Women organized the connection of the people, the upbringing of the young and all sorts of services, while the men were still making plans – which, today, have still to be fully realized.

Go and help those people, don’t trust in big organisations. The money will not – or only partially – get there where it is needed. This is a long and painful experience in our countries.


This post was first published on on August 26th 2016

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