I’ve known Angela Velenosi for about 8 years now and have been to visit her in her beautiful town of Ascoli. Immediately upon hearing of the earthquake yesterday, I wrote to Angela to see how see and her loved ones were faring. Today, she sent this update:
“I would like to update you on the situation here in Ascoli. The earthquake hit abruptly, violently and terribly. We are unharmed, my staff and our families are safe and the only real damage we had was a huge fear and a sense of losing control. The earthquake we felt here in Ascoli was so long, 140 seconds in the middle of the night. I was still in bed, unable to move, with the door one step away but yet unattainable.
The most tremendous thing about the earthquake is that there isn’t even the time to realize what is happening, suddenly you are catapulted on a carousel while the rest of the world is falling apart, the only feeling is being at the mercy of a terrible event. While the doors of my wardrobe were banging and banging, I remained focused, frightened and paralyzed in bed, and even now I feel I’m in this state of stillness.
Unfortunately, not everybody was lucky as we were.
The images of Amatrice, Pescara del Tronto, the most affected cities, the images of the ruins are live on TV and on the breaking news. The death toll is growing, and the volunteers continue to dig. We continue to pray, as our only hope, for those who are not safe yet. We have friends who asked to pray for their relatives trapped under the ruins, and our prayers were fulfilled and now these people are safe. We are still hoping the missing people will be rescued as well.
Unfortunately the earthquake did not stop and it’s continuing, and with them anxiety and fear. These tremendous events don’t have to leave behind only fear and terror, but they need to exhort us to think about the future. It renews in me, stronger than ever, the commitment to protect and defend our territory, struggling against overbuilding. It’s necessary to reverse the route and think about the wealth and the fragility of the earth where we walk, working to rebuild a better future for the next generations.
With this letter I want to express my grief and sympathy for the victims of the earthquake, for this fracture, so violent, that terrifies us all. I want also to express my wish of hope for the future, thinking to restoration. I know these lands and I also know that we will react to this catastrophe.
Cavaliere della Repubblica