Wednesday, May 22, 2024

HORROR AND SORROW

The earthquake has left a frightening scene. Cut lives and destinies that seek care in these difficult hours. The extraordinary spirit of solidarity has been and continues to be there. Many media failed to be in their highest form of their duties. The state, politics, were lost in the chaos, while media performances and silent political battles were not lacking. Only the voice of seismology professionals, long forgotten on the sidelines, came as a glimmer of hope, as sobriety, as a light that in the future they must be included in reconstruction projections.

Author: Bardhyl Zaimi

The tragic earthquake of November 26 in Albania has created a frightening situation. This horror has been somewhat tempered by tremendous solidarity. In difficult and sad times for many residents of Durres, Thuman and Tirana, as the most affected areas, there has been no lack of solidarity from all Albanian areas, from the region and beyond. There is no doubt that this solidarity has been a decisive measure to overcome the first moments of horror experienced by the earthquake. Aid from people, search and rescue teams from the region and elsewhere have helped to save lives from the wreckage of the earthquake that struck with devastating power.

Tragic situations require a spirit of togetherness, a spirit of solidarity, to overcome the horrors that come in the form of uncertainty over the human life. Moreover, this solidarity has never been lacking during these difficult days after the earthquake that have created a situation of constant fear and uncertainty.

Usually, in these situations, the first thing to do is the commitment to save lives and help those who have already experienced the horror, in all possible ways, with one stretching hand, with the presence between them , with food and clothing and the courage to continue facing the difficulties. In this regard, people passed the test of solidarity and humanity. They were there, next to the frightened residents which were left in the streets, near the families who lost their loved ones, next to sad children seeking psychological treatment in order to overcome this frightening condition through games and other engagements by educators and psychologists.

This is the profound human side that emerged in this tragedy as an extraordinary dimension of mobilization, as a breath of the human spirit to be with the sad people, with those who remained in the open sky and did not know how their life is going to continue. The spirit of solidarity was there, not to leave them alone in this hard situation.

 

Meanwhile, in many other dimensions, at the levels where the state and its institutions had to pass the exam, many anomalies, many “black holes” of organization emerged, which were trying to cover themselves with media appearances and other nonsense. It was precisely these weaknesses of institutional set-up, emergency response and severe consequences such as this earthquake, that were overcome thanks to the solidarity of people and search and rescue teams from the region and elsewhere, without which the number of victims would be much greater. The chaos in the organization seemed to tend to be covered by media performances.

Another defect that was helping this chaos was the realm of online media. Some media, urging for “clicks” they forgot the holiness of the profession, forgot the right information, forgot that with their “titles” and half information were creating a situation of general panic among the citizens. Certainly not everything remains black in this media landscape, because there were media that with professional responsibility managed to cover the situation on the place, informing rightly about the fate of the people affected by the earthquake.

Throughout this situation, there was another silent political battle, which was reflected in the headlines. An unnecessary battle in such tragic situations followed by brief interpretations of the earthquake and its consequences. Incompetent people had already given themselves the right to analyze and comment, to interpret in such a professional field as seismology. Numerous anomalies in this area persist, while politics seems to be pushing the “bricks” again.

Amid all this chaos of unprofessional information, some responsible media brought the specialists of the seismology field to the public. Forgotten people, true professionals who, with much knowledge and extraordinary modesty, managed to provide scientific explanations for the entire history of earthquakes in Albania and the affected countries, the consequences and the unpredictable legacies of the ever-present earthquakes that were creating sadness in people. One of them was the engineering specialist, Lule Bozo, who, through accurate information and professional interpretations, had explained the whole story of construction that should not have happened.

Out of nowhere in front of the screens were appearing professionals who were left out. Seismologists, construction engineers, which the time of institutional chaos had engulfed them somewhere in their modesty and in the arrogance of a state that never thought about their importance. In the face of the earthquake horror, these dedicated people who, very expertly explained the phenomenon of the earthquake and the whole configuration of the post-earthquake situation. The media reported that these professionals of this delicate science had long been left without an institute, because the state had not seen fit to fund their lucrative work, that laborious work of professional analysis and interpretation that is done somewhere quietly outside the noise of mediocre media with other noisy actors.

While the worst of the worst seems to have passed, it is now necessary that the voice of these professionals be heard very carefully by the policy makers, which will now need to project the reconstruction of earthquake-hit areas. They are there somewhere, modest, but deeply responsible for their work. It remains to the policy makers of the state to include them in its projections, especially now that many buildings have not survived the earthquake and many experts are already talking about inadequate construction.

 

 

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