“Every earthquake has its own story, I will not judge the choices made in 2009 in L’Aquila. But this time the mayors will be the ones to decide. And I think everyone will prefer to rebuild their town where it was.” Interviewed by the Corriere della Sera, the Minister of Infrastructure Graziano Delrio says sure the mayors affected by the earthquake will say no to the new town. The point therefore is not “where” to rebuild, but “how.” And besides, it is the big question of the moment, with the controversy on the absence of adjustments that 40 years of earthquakes in Italy have failed to impose.
But there is one thing to say, on which a builder friend of mine made me think. It is true that 70 percent of the houses are not earthquake-proof, but on the houses we never want to change our culture. When buying a house, an Italian buys it thinking it will be everlasting.
In the much-vaunted earthquake-proof Japan, people buy a house knowing that after 20 maximum 30 years it will be demolished. The inhabitants of the apartment blocks are charged monthly the cost of the reconstruction. so that after 20 years the palace, if not safer, can be built again according to the latest techniques.
Many buildings, also in major cities, are close to the “maturity” of reinforced concrete, some are even made of sea sand, but nobody talks about it.
Photographing the current situation, 90 percent of the towns in Italy should be evacuated, including the buildings of the capital. A stone village is not adaptable to seismic standards, unless you spend twice the commercial value of the property itself. A private never will. The State, if capable, has to take the situation in its hands. And even start to change the rules.