Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Italian Earthquake. A small, big charity initiative.

On May 20, 2012 a magnitude 6.1 unexpected earthquake, with epicenter in Finale Emilia, stuck a huge central region of Italy. Dozens of severe aftershocks shuddered through the nearby lands overnight and during the following days. On May 29, a second, magnitude 5.8 earthquake with epicenter in the close Medolla shocked again Emilia Romagna, making even more damages than the first wave. A third, magnitudo 4.9 aftershock hit the surrounding of Modena on June 3. While I write, the earth is still shaking.
Being Italian, I'm not new to earthquakes. I fortunately was always far away from the catastrophic ones, but since you can hear them in the distance - sense? feel? It's not a quite obvious experience -, I clearly remember the bufflement in occasion of Umbria (1998) and L'Aquila (2009).
This time I've heard the second one, but, since I was alone at home, I thought I was feeling sick. Outside, I met a lot of children, kids and teens - they evacuated the schools -, but I thought it was just a curious fact. Entering a bar, a woman pointed her finger at the TV, and commented "Ha visto, un altro terremoto". Terremoto. So eventually I got it. 
Some days after, heading to Milan airport, I was in region Emilia. I passed a few hours in a station waiting for a train. The air seemed hot, but I was wearing a cotton blouse that for june, in Italy, I'd normally consider pure craziness. It was not properly hot, in fact: it was wet, thick, dusty. The kind of steady air that makes you feel nervous. It was all so quiet. No one was speaking, and I can assure you it's very uncommon, we Italians are very chatty people. 
It was not just me noticing the odd situation, I assume also the other people on the bench could feel it. For instance, they were suspiciously kind to each others, as they were embarrassed. Now this may seem irrational, but I thought they were checking on each other, waiting for a word, or to be helpful someway, waiting for sharing. But no one spoke. We all stood in a polite, respectful tension and when the train arrived, we run inside forgetting all those weird sensations.  
Earthquakes are able to awake your conscience. They make you think of nature in a different perspective and about all the things you take for granted. It's a shocking event either if you are in a safe zone as I was, miles away from the epicenter, or if you are the actual victim, the one who lost house, workplace, school or church in a blink of an eye. You can be grateful you're survived, but the idea that all you know can be destroyed in a few minutes, and you and your dears die, won't leave you soon.
After a major natural disaster like that, one is powerless. But communities can make a difference. The Etsy Italia Team is fund rising selling items donated by its members to a collective Charity ShopMany other teams joined its effort promoting the campaign through different channels: blog, twitter, facebook, as well as making treasuries for promoting awareness.


It's a great result if compared to past campaigns, and that makes me kind of proud of my team and of all those buyers as well. Anyway, it's surely more than one single person can do, so it was my privilege to join them. Well, I purchased the buttons above. I realize now it's kind of a bad joke, but wasn't that the intention.

I'll be sincere. I generally don't like or join this kind of initiatives. So I'd just say: if you don't know how to help, join the campaign, buy something, and they will give all the profits to region Emilia Romagna. Because this people needs money, not opinions.

26 comments:

  1. Great post, it is very interesting how people feel after such events.

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  2. Thank you for sharing this post. My daughter used to live near San Francisco and lived though a few quakes, but no biggies. We have lived though quite a few bad hurricanes here in Florida ... not too fun those. Also, I know how you Italians are, although I am not one, I'm from New York, just north of the city, so many of my friends were Italian with roots from all over Italy. What wonderful family get-togethers I've attended. They would eat all day long at their picnics. It's a small world. It was so sad to see the devastation. Such beautiful buildings and I'm not sure if there was any lives lost, which means so much more than just property. Blessing to all.

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    1. Thank you for your passionate comment...And yes, there were victims, unfortunately.

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  3. Sorry to hear about this. Thank you for sharing!

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  4. great post! thank you for sharing!

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  5. Thank you for making me aware of this Elettra. It is something I have never experienced and it is interesting to read what it really feels like first hand. It must be so frightening to live in the middle of this and fear the possibility of injury to yourself or family members or the possible destruction of your home. I will have a look now at the Etsy Italia team so that perhaps I can help.

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    1. It seems you can get used to everything - that much is the power of habit! For instance, people living right above the volcanos doesn't want to move! When you were born there, you become fatalist! But that's was not the case: although in Italy, which is a seismic territory, region Emilia Romagna was classified as "safe"...

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  6. I am very sad to hear about this...thank you for sharing.

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  7. Very interesting article and also very frightening that still with all the information we have people are still caught up in these very tragic 'natural' happenings...thank you for sharing.

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    1. That's a good point...Any major disaster in Italy creates a lot of controversy. Sometimes it's just an emotional reaction towards the unbearable, sometimes in fact polemics are much more plausible. For instance, before L'Aquila's earthquake there had been a lot of seismic signs which were ignored (and an actual alert by at least one independent researcher classified as "mad scientist"!). I think we are unprepared maybe just because we are in the third millennium, and we think it's impossible an entire city can be destroyed...

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  8. very sad to hear about this :( a lot of things shaking this earth at the moment. Im glad you are safe, take care ♥

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  9. So sad yet very powerful pictures. So great to hear Etsy members are getting together for raise funds, amazing cause!

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    1. True! I was pleasantly surprised by the initiative and enjoyed the positive reaction of other teams as well!

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  10. What destruction! We live in an area where we get killer tornadoes. You just never know.

    One thing is for sure, when you see what nature can do, it makes you realize how small you really are in the great scheme of things.

    I do feel bad for the families of these tragedies.

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    1. Hi Sheryl, thank you for the comment...I recently watched a documentary on tornados, and realized it must be difficult living with that threat too. Great Italian poet Leopardi used to call mother nature a "step mother", as mankind is at her mercy and she "creates men only to destroy them in its never-ending cycle". Well, it was XIX century, but yet sometimes...it'is just a self evidence!

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  11. it's the success story after a disaster, compliments to EIT ;)

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  12. ho vissuto di persona questo terremoto ,ho visto la mia casa saltando e ballando penso che e una delle cose pi brute,in un attimo poi perdere tutto ,grazia de aver condiviso questo post lili

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    1. Grazie a te per il tuo commento, sono contenta che stai bene...Seguo sempre i tuoi blog post con tanta ammirazione, sei bravissima!

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  13. What a powerful article and photos, it made it very real for us readers. I am so glad you are ok and what a great initiative.

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    1. Thank you! The charity campaign is going well, and we'll continue as long as we can!

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  14. Bellissima e lodevole iniziativa! Aimè la natura non si comanda...ma bisogna aiutare a ricostruire
    Fedulab blog

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  15. Ciao Elettra! Tutto bene! E' tanto che non ci si sente... Beh, c'è una sorpresa per te sul mio blog!! A presto,
    Cate

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    1. ...Ho visto! Meraviglioso, grazie mille :)

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