December 04, 1923

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News from December 4, 1923

News from December 4, 1923 (Binghamton Press, via Newspapers.com™)

Bergamo, Italy, Faces a Catastrophic Flood

In December of 1923, Bergamo, Italy experienced a flood of catastrophic proportions. The flood was triggered by the bursting of a dike that was holding back Lake Gleno, releasing a large quantity of water into the Bergamo Valley. Consequently, hundreds of farm homes were eradicated, three entire villages were wiped out, and over 600 people lost their lives.

The aftermath of the disaster saw numerous challenges. The valley had been buried under several feet of mud due to the flooding and subsequent rainfall, hampering search and rescue operations. Efforts were undertaken to search for the victims in the sludge, while survivors of the disaster followed close behind, clinging onto hopes of encountering their relatives and friends alive.

Survivors, affected both physically due to the disaster and emotionally due to their loss, were often unable to be moved. They were provided temporary shelter, built with materials transported across the muddy terrain. Basic necessities including food, clothing, blankets, and bedding for these survivors and the members of the rescue parties had to be transported with great difficulty due to the prevalent conditions, and ox carts were the only feasible mode of transport.

Due to the difficulty associated with the situation and constraints on resources, officials had to limit the number of volunteers at the site. Yet King Victor Emmanuel visited the site of the disaster. Despite the harsh weather conditions and the precarious state of the terrain, the King insisted on carrying out a thorough inspection and subsequently promised aid to offset the losses sustained by Bergamo, which were estimated to be around 200,000,000 lire.

Meanwhile, churches in the nearby villages were kept open and masses were conducted continuously as villagers prayed for the cessation of rains.

Learn more about December 04, 1923 through historical newspapers from our archives. Explore newspaper articles, headlines, images, and other primary sources below.


Source Articles and Clippings

"December 04, 1923," Newspapers.com Topics (https://www.newspapers.com/topics/century-ago-today/december-1923/december-4-1923/ : accessed February 21, 2024)