Expert sees ‘flood risk’ for Expo

Work starts on Seveso flood protection.

The president of the National Council of Geologists, Gianvito Graziano, has warned against the risk of flooding which could “directly involve” Milan’s Expo 2015.

Speaking at a convention of MADE expo, a conference of manufacturers, architects, designers, building contractors and building construction professionals, held in the Expo grounds in Milan this week, Graziano said, “We have to cross our fingers.”

We have started work on the Seveso site,” he continued, “but these are for purification of the water. Luckily Expo is being held in summer, but even this can’t let us feel safe because if we look at recent years, we always had floods in the Milan area in July and August.”

Floods in Seveso July 2014 Floods in Seveso July 2014

Graziano pointed out that the areas at most risk from flooding are densely inhabited metropolitan areas. After 30 years of poor government of the territory, he stated, Italy is risking further serious damage to its image, just in the year when it hosts Expo 2015 and is a showcase for the world.

Hydro-geological emergencies in Italy show scary statistics, his report revealed. Last year alone Italy recorded 33 deaths, 27 states of emergency, 400 “events”, four thousand families evacuated and €4 billion worth of damage.

Now is the time for maintenance, said Erasmo d’Angelis, head of Italia Secura, the government agency on hydro-geologic risk, addressing the same meeting.

A defence operation has finally started,” said d’Angelis, “with very concrete works. We’re no longer chasing after emergencies, but we’re planning an Italia Secura [a safe Italy]. It’s time for maintenance and small-scale work.”