Mudslides in Messina: Thanks for Not Getting in the Way Berlusconi!

Messina mudslides*UPDATED BELOW*

We’ve had a lot of nasty weather lately and even had damage in Calabria, but nothing even close to the mudslides in Messina, just across the Strait. The death toll is expected to reach at least 50 and the number of homeless 400, making these mudslides the worst in Italy since 150 people were killed in mudslides in Naples in 1998.

Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has reportedly called off a visit to the area so he doesn’t get in the way of rescue efforts. How considerate! What a nice vaffanc…erm…thank you to the South who continually puts this man back in office.

Italian President Giorgio Napolitano did tour the affected area, however, and had this to say:

There is a situation of widespread hydro-geological instability and that’s mainly because of unauthorised buildings in the Messina area, and many others in Italy. A serious plan is needed, rather than massive prestige projects, to invest in the safety of these zones, or other disasters will happen.

Nice to see someone in power at least looking toward the future and how to prevent something like this from happening again, although in Berlusconi’s defense, perhaps he has more important things to do like try to break up “Cloonalis” and wrestle showgirl Elisabetta Canalis away from George Clooney or something.

What, you think I’m being too harsh? Check out these 19 Unbelievable Berlusconi Quotes and get back to me.

Anyway, you may remember I visited and loved Messina, and also that P has a sister living there (she and her family are fine). As far as I know, there is no government or other organized special effort to help the victims in Messina, but if you know of something please let me know, and I’ll post it here.

In the meantime, the Comune of Messina has established a bank account accepting donations:

  • C.C. IBAN IT 91Y0102016598000300034781; C.C.P. N. 1406398

Payments can be made to “Comune di Messina – Servizio Tesoreria” specifying “pro-alluvionati” in the memo section.

And of course you can always donate to the Italian Red Cross.

Siamo con voi, Messina!

*UPDATE: Apparently Berlusconi changed his mind and showed up in Messina today to promise affected residents they would be exempt from taxes and added: “Reconstruction is too expensive and cannot be assured, so we will do like in L’Aquila: new homes in other areas, but still within the urban fabric.”

Nice thought, if only this actually was being done in L’Aquila….

And while I’m picking on Berlu, did you know the law that granted him immunity from criminal prosecution while he was in office (that, of course, he pushed through) is up for review by Italy’s Constitutional Court this week? Pins and needles here!

15 Beans of Wisdom to “Mudslides in Messina: Thanks for Not Getting in the Way Berlusconi!”
  1. Whoever is giving Silvio B. PR advice these days is messing up.

    There is a way you can tour a region without getting in the way.

    He should have gone to Messina.

    Glad P’s family is okay. I was watching SKY24 and can’t believe the images.

    So sad to think how quickly those lives were changed and ended; and yes, Berlu really isn’t doing many advisable things lately (even worse than usual)!

    .-= nyc/caribbean ragazza´s last blog ..Flashback Friday – Johnny Kemp – “Just Got Paid” =-.

  2. 10.04.2009

    So sad for those people in Messina. What is wrong with that man? He is so out of touch.

    He really lives in his own world, I think.

    .-= Ciaochowlinda´s last blog ..Green Tomato Chocolate Cake =-.

  3. 10.04.2009

    Siamo con voi Messina! Yes indeed!
    I was so sorry to see a quick blip about this on the news, thank you for giving more details Michelle, especially how to make donations. I am so sorry for these people, the newly homeless, and even if Berlusconi is ridiculous, I still can’t imagine how so far there is no government or other organized special effort to help the victims of Messina. Really sad.
    Berlusconi should have gone.

    It’s really rather ridiculous that there isn’t any kind of fund set up, but hopefully someone will get moving on that….
    .-= Amber´s last blog ..Foreskin Dilemma =-.

  4. richard

    Many years ago while stationed at Napoli with the USN we would make a trip to Messina and board a pilot boat and meet various factions of the USN at sea just outsdie of Messina.

    We normally had to stay overnite or even a day to make connections. We loved Messina. The hospitality and warmth of the populace was second only to the beloved Napolitans……

    Many of us who know Messina will continue to pray for all there in there time of trial and tribulations.

    I offer this short prayer for all of them:

    La luce di Dio la circonda,
    L’amore di Dio l’avviluppa,
    Il potere di Dio la protegge,
    E la presenza di orologi di Dio sopra lei;
    Dovunque lei è, Dio è.
    “Prayer for Protection, Unity”
    Love and Light


    Beautiful Richard; thanks for sharing.

  5. 10.05.2009

    Berlusconi is just unbelievable!
    Praying for the people in Messina. Glad P’s family is alright.

    Thanks Lavanya 🙂

    .-= Lavanya´s last blog ..Imperfect Memories =-.

  6. Gil

    I was going to send this to you and decided to go to the car races on the spur of the moment. Glad to hear your family wasn’t harmed. My grandfather’s town, Sarno, had the same kind of mudslide a few months after we were there in 1998. I’m sure that the mudslide in Messina is also blamed on the Mafia. If areas where there have been massive forest fires aren’t replanted the hillsides are prime targets for mudslides.

    Illegal building is definitely part of the problem….

  7. 10.05.2009

    Glad to know that you and P.’s family are safe.

    Thank you 🙂

    .-= Esme´s last blog ..Plum Cake and Preparing for Trial =-.

  8. 10.05.2009

    He showed up in Abruzzo so often I thought he should really be doing something more useful and less headline hogging. Yanno, if I suffer a tragedy I hope the first face I see is not his. Really,

    Just lately Napolitano has so much to say that I am afraid someone is going to challenge his authority under the Constitution. Ciampi was so quiet…

    Yes, it will definitely be interesting to see what develops with Napolitano….
    .-= Judith in Umbria´s last blog ..Puglia again =-.

  9. 10.05.2009

    I have just no comments to do about berlusconi’s attitude… maybe it’s better for them he is not going… or he is going to say something like: this is like a camping week end….
    Hope everyone people there are going to be ok durin the next weeks…

    This is true; that camping comment was so just so…ugh….

  10. Hi Michelle, Thanks for this post. I wanted to let you know that I linked back to it. As always B is unbelievable!- Karen

    Thanks for the link love Karen 🙂

  11. 10.05.2009

    There just seems to be no end to his antics. I cannot fathom why he enjoys such support from the south (okay, can’t understand why he enjoys such support, period!). If the situations in L’Aquila or Messina occurred in the north, his response and rebuilding plans would be vastly different. Let’s hope the court does something noteworthy about that immunity law!

    Fingers crossed, Valerie….
    .-= Valerie´s last blog ..To Italy and Back – at Lunchtime =-.

  12. That is really sad to see a political leader that out of touch with the people he represents. I hope you are safe and warm and happy!

    All of the above Jenn! We’re enjoying some really fab weather lately 🙂

    .-= Jenn AKA The Leftover Queen´s last blog ..Breakfast(s) of Champions =-.

  13. 10.06.2009

    As Marco (whose mom is from Messina and whose aunt still lives in the family home there) said: “A second disaster is headed for Sicily: Berlusconi!”

    So very, very true….

    .-= Kim B.´s last blog ..My Sofa Just Turned Into a French Class =-.

  14. Wunshdenker

    This guy’s quite the pagliaccio. His gaffes, his sprayed-on hairdo, his philandering, his double-breasted suites, his short-man’s-syndrome, his misogynism….all excellent Southern Italian political leadership qualities.

    I note to those reading that Wunschdenker has firm southern Italian roots 😉

  1. [...] Michelle has some information about how you can help the victims of the landslides in Sicily. [...]...
Michelle KaminskyMichelle Kaminsky is an American attorney-turned-freelance writer who lived in her family's ancestral village in Calabria, Italy for 15 years. This blog is now archived. 

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Green beans, potatoes, and pancetta
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Pasta with snails alla calabrese
Onion, Oregano, and Thyme Focaccia
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Fried eggs with red onion and cheese
Calabrian sausage and fava beans
Ricotta Pound Cake