Legambiente: black year for the climate, Trapani is the third most affected Italian province

Legambiente takes stock of 2022 and tells of a “bad year for the climate, marked by an acceleration of weather events that have caused so much damage and casualties. Floods, waves of abnormal heat and intense frost, landslides, storm surges, drought, hailstorms do not spare any country on the planet by now”.

Italy too has paid the consequences, marked by more heat and drought this year, as reported by the balance sheet data of Legambiente’s Città Clima Observatory, created in collaboration with the Unipol group, and summarized in the climate risk map. Territorially, this year the north of the peninsula was the most affected area, followed by the south and the centre.

At the regional level, Lombardy is the region that records the most cases, 37, followed by Lazio and Sicily, with 33 and 31 respectively. Among the provinces, Trapani with 9 weather-hydro events of great intensity, is the third in Italy, the first in Sicily. In Italy, Rome is the most affected with 23 weather-hydro events, followed by Salerno with 11, followed by Trento, Venice, Genoa and Messina with 8 cases. Between the cities, Rome (13) and Palermo (4).

The city of Trapani and the surrounding area appears to have been the hardest hit in Sicily since flood events. We recall the floods of September 26 in Trapani city and then again the more disastrous one of October 13, which brought not only the city of Trapani to its knees, but above all that of Misiliscemi with the overflow of the Verderame river which practically flooded the hamlet of Salingrande and other surrounding hamlets. But flooding also occurred in Marsala, Calatafimi, Vita and Salemi, in Belice, Castelvetrano and Mazara, with significant damage here too. The overall estimate of the damages exceeds 50 million euros.

“Compared to the data recorded by the regional detectors, 122.5 millimeters of rain that fell on 26 September – says the mayor Giacomo Tranchida – which caused a real flood, here it is no longer a problem of a manhole or a storm that can create a problem in a road or street. The problem here is quite another, that of putting your hands on what is the infrastructuring of the networks which are not adequate (built 40 years ago) to face real floods in our case. We are working on it – continues Tranchida – unfortunately also taking a cue from what happened last September 26th and we have a project idea that we have already anticipated in the prefecture and which should substantially lead to rediscovering the value of an ancient flavor – the water from Monte Erice must go downstream but directly to the sea as soon as possible -. So we need to redo the Scalabrino Canal which was once a road, a natural outlet for the waters that descend from Monte Erice, from Cassanta and went towards the sea. Over time it was closed, it was preferred to divert its course, to allow urbanization and building speculation, now we need to invent a way to rebuild this path that immediately brings the waters from the Monte back to the sea”.

The report presented by Legambiente says that, in 2022, the Peninsula recorded an increase of + 55% of cases compared to 2021, 310 extreme phenomena that this year caused impacts and damage from north to south and caused 29 deaths. Specifically, there were 104 cases of flooding and flooding from heavy rains, 81 cases of damage from tornadoes and gusts of wind, 29 from hailstorms, 28 from prolonged drought, 18 from storm surges, 14 events involving infrastructure , 13 river floods, 11 cases of landslides caused by heavy rains, 8 cases of extreme temperatures in the city and 4 events with impacts on the historical heritage. There are many events that concern two or more categories, for example cases in which river floods or flooding from heavy rains also cause damage to infrastructure.

In 2022, compared to last year, the damages from drought increased, going from 6 in 2021 to 28 in 2022 (+367%), those caused by hailstorms from 14 in 2021 to 29 in 2022 (+107%), damage from tornadoes and gusts of wind, which increased from 46 in 2021 to 81 in 2022 (+76%), and floods and floods, from 88 in 2021 to 104 in 2022 (+19%). Territorially, this year the north of the peninsula was the most affected area, followed by the south and the centre.

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Category Trapani