Many years have passed since that terrible October 9th, 1963. Nevertheless, the memories related to the Vajont tragedy still live in the eyes of those who survived, in the words of those who lost their families and belongings, in the dam that wasn’t even touched while whole villages disappeared during those damned moments.

As a matter of fact you can find many documents and books about what happened: from the decision taken by SADE (a Venetian construction company) to give birth to the “Great Vajont” project; to the micro landslides occurring prior to the tragedy; to the earthquakes perceived by Erto and Casso inhabitants in summer 1963; to the wicked decision to fill and unfill the dam basin. As it was proven and said in 2008 by ONU, Vajont tragedy could have been avoided: it was due to human irresponsible choices that almost 2000 people died in 4 minutes.

How could people survive after this terrible experience? We chose to tell you the story that struck us the most: that of Micaela Coletti, who was 12 years old when the tragedy occured. Today she is the President of the Vajont survivors’ commitee, and she has told many times what happened that night.  She lost her parents, her grandmother, two brothers and one sister.

For many years, her brain refused to accept what had happened: Micaela was convinced she was living in a sort of nightmare, and that she would eventually wake up from that dreaming conditions. Something in her unconscious dimension activated a defensive mechanism, that made her replace reality with a less painful alternative. In her opinion, she was living something that it was too absurd to be real, and she thought she would wake up from that absurdity sooner or later. It took her 6 years to understand that she was living a real life: when she turned 18, she lost the child she was expecting, on the same day of Vajont tragedy. All of a sudden she realized that what had happened to her had been real. Terrible and shocking, but real.

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