Minor islands without transportation, running out of fuel and supplies: “Hospitals at risk too”

The region, prefects of Trapani, Palermo, and Messina, the shipowner of Caronte & Tourist, and the mayors of the Sicilian minor islands are working to find an immediate solution to the issue of blocked connections following the backtrack of the Messina shipping company. Today, two meetings were held at the region with the Transport assessor, Alessandro Aricò, and the parties involved in this matter, which is causing concern for the residents of all the Sicilian minor islands that already face various difficulties. The worry is that there may be a shortage of oxygen cylinders for patients, hospitals, healthcare facilities, and pharmacies. The average autonomy for gas and oxygen cylinders is one week, and for some islands like Lipari, Salina, and Malfa, even less. The same situation is occurring in Pantelleria. The mayor emphasizes the need for a solution within a few days, as there is a need for gasoline, gas cylinders, and oxygen for hospitals and pharmacies. The situation is also causing strain on the power plants of all the minor islands. The shipping company points out that “the problem is represented by the three ships and the seized funds.” The Transport assessor mentions that they are studying some solutions. However, a solution will not be found in a few days. The possibility of organizing special trips with the waste ship to provide emergency fuel and oxygen cylinders to the islands is being considered. But there are also other options being evaluated. The mayors, however, remain highly critical of the options reviewed during the meeting. They state that they are still “at sea” and express the distressing situation that is affecting the islanders, making them victims of a judicial matter that heavily impacts their right to territorial continuity, local economic activities, and the fate of many families who are already disadvantaged due to microinsularity. The meeting concluded with a decision to wait for a proposal from Caronte & Tourist and reconvene shortly for further evaluation of the critical state and the search for a solution to prevent further problems and disadvantages by restoring all the missing supplemental trips. Another meeting with the assessor and shipowner is expected on Monday.

Isole minori senza trasporti, a corto di benzina e di viveri: «Rischiano anche gli ospedali»

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