The serious situation of discomfort that the Etna centers affected by the incessant fall of volcanic ash have been experiencing for months was at the center of the summit convened by the president of the Sicilian Region, Nello Musumeci, at the PalaRegione of Catania, with the head of the regional civil protection, Salvo Cocina, the regional councilor for energy and public utility services, Daniela Baglieri, and the coordination of the municipal council presidents of the metropolitan area of Catania. Present at the meeting, in addition to the mayor of the metropolitan city of Catania, Salvo Pogliese, also the first citizens of the Etna foothills.
The Crisis Unit meets in Sicily
“Next week the National Crisis Unit of Civil Protection will meet in Sicily, at my request, to take stock of the situation of the damage caused by volcanic ash, a phenomenon that unfortunately does not seem destined to run out in a few days and which creates a condition of indescribable discomfort for the inhabitants of the most affected centers. We – said President Musumeci – have the need to ensure the removal of volcanic ash as soon as possible and to intervene also on private individuals. And when I say we, I mean the state. This is why in Rome we will ask for a regulation that allows to finance the intervention activity in support of local authorities, individuals and businesses. We will ask the same thing from the regional Parliament ”.
First commitment from Rome for 5 million euros
“From Rome comes the commitment of the Civil Protection to disburse 5 million euros to meet the requests of the mayors. The first million – added Musumeci – we have already accredited as a Region. We plan to identify, shortly, other resources to create a fund with an open contract so that the Municipalities can access it directly and thus speed up the procedures. We are all mobilized to minimize the devastating effects of this situation ”.
The fire emergency is also on the table
During the meeting the issue of fighting fires was also addressed, which had already been at the center of the summit this morning, via videoconference, with the National Crisis Unit requested by President Musumeci. During the summit, the possibility of requesting additional Army units in Sicily was discussed, a question that will be submitted, for competence, to the Ministry of Defense.
“Many outbreaks are of malicious origin, others are caused by the distraction and irresponsible conduct of the owners of uncultivated or abandoned land – continued Musumeci. The fire campaign in Sicily has started and we are using every means available. We used three state canadians and all eight regional helicopters, we mobilized all the forestry and firefighters on the ground. Also on this issue, next week we will meet the National Crisis Unit. The arsonists are in full swing and against these criminals – I have no difficulty in saying – it would take life imprisonment, because the damage that an arsonist does to the botanical, wooded, flora and Mediterranean scrub heritage is enormous. In a moment what nature has created in 40-50 years is destroyed ”.
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