Cemetery collapse. Geologists: “You can’t blame the rain and the stream”

Cemetery collapse. Geologists: “You can’t blame the rain and the stream”
Cemetery collapse. Geologists: “You can’t blame the rain and the stream”
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Sant’Agata de Goti.

“The collapse of a part of the cemetery of Sant’Agata dei Goti in the province of Benevento, which took place last January 19 and which saw coffins and urns collapse into the stream below, refers to the collapse of February 22, 2021 which affected the cemetery of Camogli in Liguria.

In the Sant’Agata dei Goti case, someone immediately hurried to blame the stream below and the heavy rains that would have made it swell to the point of causing the landslide of the slope on the edge of which the cemetery was built.

A fairly truthful description except that the rain, the creek and the slope never said they would protect the structure of the cemetery!

Our arrogance has led us to build everywhere without careful planning of the geological, geomorphological and hydraulic characteristics, and our cowardice immediately leads us to blame the rain, the stream and the landslide for our responsibility”. This was stated by Antonello Fiore, National President of the Italian Society of Environmental Geology.

“The rules of cemetery areas have been clear for many years: “The fields intended for inhumation, outdoors and indoors, must be located in soil suitable for geological and mineralogical structure, for mechanical and physical properties and for the level of the groundwater water”. The modern organization of our cemeteries was born with the “Décret impérial sur les sépultures” – better known as the “Edict of Saint Cloud” – which has regulated the practice of burials since 1804, which came into force in the Kingdom of Italy under the name of “Edict of the Medical Police” in 1806.

If we are not even able to guarantee security to the cemetery areas – continued Fiore – which have always been the subject of the utmost attention due to their spiritual value, how can we protect ourselves from the effects of the climate crisis? If nothing changes we will be forced to chase emergency after emergency, commemoration after commemoration. This episode is another blow to politics understood as the management of the territory occupied by our activities, by those works functional to our unknowingly comfortable living, until the next landslide, flood or earthquake occurs. The lack of planning, the lack of controls, the abandonment of the territory, the lack of maintenance, the lack of monitoring, the lack of interventions lead to no other result than seeing coffins collapse with 217 years of disregarded rules”.

And the President of Sigea Campania – Molise also intervened on the collapse.

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“That wing of the collapsed cemetery insists in an area pertaining to the river, precisely in correspondence with a stream which, even if most of the time in lean – said Gaetano Sammartino, geologist and President of SIGEA Campania – Molise – I don’t think it’s the best place to go and locate and carry out an urban work, especially a cemetery area, where there is often a strong presence of people who go to visit their loved ones.

In fact, the stream is almost always dry, with the abundant rains of the last few hours it has returned to perform its natural function, evidently the erosive action of the abundant rains that have hit the area, have eroded the left hydraulic bank causing a landslide that first affected the road above and finally the perimeter part of the cemetery.

The territory of the Campania Region is for the most part fragile and susceptible to landslides, this fragility is then favored by the absolute carelessness of man who has now abandoned the territory without caring about it in the slightest and therefore, the climate change that is taking place cannot other than favoring this state of affairs which invariably manifests itself with extreme cases which most often lead to disastrous events.

The elements at risk are many, because we have built everywhere, and the vulnerability is high because the houses can hardly resist a swollen river or a landslide. In this case, therefore, to mitigate the risk, we must act above all through the maintenance of the territory whose importance we have often stressed. We should also act on the elements at risk, perhaps by relocating the buildings to unsuitable areas”.

The article is in Italian

Tags: Cemetery collapse Geologists blame rain stream

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