There was a lot of rain yesterday, a hell of a lot of rain.
Around 2pm the sky turned very dark, the heavens opened and the rain fell.
It rained so hard that within a few minutes there were cascades flowing down the streets of Loreto.
Our house leaked.
If there was a leak to be found anywhere this rain was going to find it.
The downpour was persistent, unrelenting and determined.
It was all over by around 4pm, all over bar the shouting!
As I emerged and I heard my neighbours having loud discussions. They gathered at the bottom of the street near a fire truck. Firemen and police were with them looking serious and moving with intent.
“Maybe now they’ll fix the roads properly.”
“Why, what happened?”
“The road has collapsed.”
Part of via G Rasetti had simply slid away. Located just down from via dei Normanni, a main road off the main square Piaza Garibaldi, via G Rasetti takes you down into the old town.
There was more.
Two minutes walk back to the far more modern part of Loreto traffic was being diverted as chunks of asphalt had cracked and had broken away near the Piaza Garibaldi end of via Cappuccini.
Water finds its way. It has a single-minded nature. It removes obstacles.
If the water pressure is strong enough and drains are poorly maintained then a layer of asphalt won’t be much of a barrier.
If foundations are weak due to persistent water leaks from underground pipes then eventually a heavy downpour will sweep some structure away.
Heavy downpours are frequent enough during summer months in Abruzzo.
Usually only homes leak. Usually our house leaks.
Yesterday the damage done was a lot more serious.
There are many beautiful towns and villages in Abruzzo that are built on the side of hills.
Loreto Aprutino is one that I happen to be very fond of.
It isn’t just a pretty centro storico, it is a town and area that comprises of a modern part, many associated districts and of course a historical centre. It is populated with some of the most helpful, interesting and friendly people I have ever met and it regularly attracts tourists who have an eye for a base that gives easy access to the mountains and the sea.
It’s a magical place.
Yesterday the magic failed.
Manmade structures must be maintained or else they will eventually fail. That is the nature of things.
If drains aren’t cleaned, if leaking water pipes aren’t repaired, and if buildings aren’t maintained then they surely will fail.
Loreto, like many towns that hang on the hills of Abruzzo, needs a plan that brings it from a place that looks lovely on a postcard and is nice to visit, to a place where its inhabitants, its true beating heart, feel that summer rain is not a disaster waiting to happen.