Twelve years after the earthquakes that destroyed it, the city is “more modern, more accessible and resilient” and is “better prepared” to face a possible new earthquake. The mayor, Diego José Mateos, said this yesterday after the act of homage to the nine fatalities of the 2011 earthquakes, which consisted of a floral offering at the monolith that remembers them in the 11 de Mayo park in the La Viña neighborhood , ground zero of the catastrophe. There, councilors from the five parties of the municipal corporation and neighbors observed a minute of silence in his memory.
Mateos said that “Lorca is an example of overcoming” and, without forgetting what happened, invited Lorca “to look forward firmly and proudly to have recovered a city that was devastated.” He added that “we have learned the great lesson that the earthquake gave us in construction techniques, in materials to use and in emergency protocols.”
He explained that “we are continuously observed when a similar catastrophe occurs” such as the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria or the eruption of the volcano on the island of La Palma, and stated that the city is an “example of management and coordination” in terms of emergencies. The municipality is “better prepared” than twelve years ago, construction techniques have been modified to avoid cladding and decorations on the facades and it is not built with dwarf pillars, which proved to be less flexible in the event of a seismic movement.
The president of the Federation of Neighborhood Associations, Pedro García, read a manifesto in which he said that Lorca “has shown the world his capacity for resilience” and that he has overcome the tragedy “through solidarity, with effort and pride of a whole people” who now “face the future with optimism”.
The unpaid public aid to some 200 victims of the earthquakes, to whom the central government owes some 900,000 euros, also came to light during the anniversary and political parties such as the PP, Cs and IU denounced the delays and demanded agility for the payment of the money to families.
Regeneration of 20 neighborhoods
The regional government of the PP has allocated 250 million euros in the last twelve years to the reconstruction of Lorca. This is the figure referred to by the regional president, Fernando López Miras, during a visit to the city on the occasion of the anniversary. He chose section three of the central ring road, under construction, to make visible the “new Lorca” that emerged from the catastrophe. This road is one of the most ambitious and transformative projects in the city’s urban planning and its four sections will involve an investment of more than 20 million euros.
López Miras defended the responsibility of the PP in the recovery process and remarked that 20 neighborhoods have been regenerated, 160 kilometers of 40 roads have been renovated and 18 new infrastructures have been built including tunnels, roundabouts and bridges. According to López Miras, only in the last four years more than 60 million euros have been invested in Lorca between the Ronda, Ifelor and the burying of the San Antonio pass. The aid granted by the PP government totals 80.5 million euros in more than 16,700 compensation for the victims. He stressed that the city will continue to remember what happened twelve years ago, but “makes it completely reformed, modern and connected.” On his tour of the city he was accompanied by the mayoral candidate Fulgencio Gil.
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