Saturday, December 4

Pompeii – Information



Be that as it may, the tragic events that have been happening on the island of La Palma, as a result of the eruption of a volcano, together with the fact of the new tourist modality that the minister of the branch, or branch, intends to make fashionable, To be inclusive, Reyes Maroto, the «catastrophe tourism», has brought to mind a destination in Italy that I have pending: Pompeii.

As you may know, in the year 79 of our era, Pompeii was buried by a layer of stones and ash, transported by pyroclastic clouds that originated the eruption of Vesuvius, which has allowed a large part of the city, located near the current Naples, has been preserved in an extraordinary way to this day. In fact, the existence of this enclave, documented by the Roman writer Plinio the Younger, was not verified until the first archaeological excavations began, which ended with its discovery in 1763, by the Spanish Roque Joaquín de Alcubierre.

That discovery, at a time when the cultural and literary movement of romanticism, which would emerge in the 19th century, was beginning to make its way, led to the publication of several novels about the sad events that ended the lives of about five one thousand people, according to estimates made by archaeologists and historians. One of them, perhaps the best known, is The Last Days of Pompeii, written in 1834 by Baron Edward Bulwer-Lytton. The writer was inspired by a painting by the Russian painter Karl Briullov, which he saw at an exhibition in Milan. The novel was relatively successful in its time, but it is not highly regarded by contemporary critics.

If you are more of cinema, or of sofa and TV, you will also be able to find films on the subject. The most famous of them, from 1959 and whose direction is attributed to Sergio Leone, since its titular director, Mario Bonnard, fell ill shortly after filming began, it is based precisely on this novel, although I anticipate you, if you have not seen already, which is pretty bad and, obviously, with a too predictable ending. I do not recommend it, in short. What I would recommend is a trip to Pompeii or reading articles and studies about that city, as well as some documentaries that exist, which narrate these events with great scientific rigor, and which are extremely interesting and entertaining.

In the case of Pompeii, apart from the historical value of having discovered an almost intact Roman city, what strikes me powerfully is the fact that it took almost seventeen hundred years to find it, which implies the fact that the survivors of that calamity did not think of rebuilding it on the same site as it was. In the unfortunate case of the island of La Palma, once the eruption ends, an arduous reconstruction process will have to begin, in which, among other things, the location of the houses that have to be erected to replace the ones must be assessed. that we have all seen in the gruesome television images being engulfed by lava.

I imagine that, in the case of volcanoes, although something similar happened on the island of La Palma fifty years ago, it is very difficult to predict the behavior they will have and the direction, magnitude and scope of the lava rivers that can be produce in the event of an eruption. However, in the area where we live, where natural disasters usually come from the hand of torrential rainfall, it is much easier to make a forecast of the torrents through which the water will flow.

However, it is still allowed to build in flooded areas and every so often the same episodes are repeated every time we suffer an episode of cold drop, or DANA as they call it now. The last one was two years ago and politicians landed, never better said, in the case of Pedro Sánchez at least, in our lands to take the photo. The same as now on La Palma. I am very afraid, I hope I am wrong, that when that island is no longer in the center of the media spotlight, the same thing happens to us when we suffer floods. Ask in the Vega Baja for the promises received two years ago.


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