At 11 a.m. today, August 18, the roof of the Loppiano shrine was more than half uncovered by a very strong wind, which swept away not only the copper roofing but also the layers underneath and damaged the large stained glass windows on the right side of the building.
Loppiano was also hit by the devastating bad weather that affected the Valdarno area and, more generally, Tuscany this morning, August 18. A whirlwind of significant power struck the citadel at around 11 a.m., causing severe damage especially to the Shrine dedicated to Mary Theotokos.
The roof of the church was more than half uncovered and blown off even into the churchyard. The force of the wind blew not only the copper roofing – as it happened at the end of September last year due to a similar whirlwind – but also the underlying layers of the roof and the layers of insulation. The wind blew through the large stained glass windows on the right side of the building as well. Two of the six stained glass windows dedicated to the life of Mary were torn and shattered.
Everything happened in a very short time and what remains is a bleak picture, destined to worsen as the rains of the coming days fall inside the building. In fact, it will take about ten days-these are the first estimates of technicians-to safely protect the sanctuary, after removing the debris on the remaining roof.
Numerous trees were blown down by strong winds in various parts of the citadel. At Sophia University Institute, a fallen tree destroyed the sunshades of one of the university’s buildings. For several hours, the citadel was without electricity.
With immediacy the news and, more importantly, the images of the badly injured sanctuary spread, causing an immediate and formidable wave of messages of dismay, sympathy and participation. The residents of the citadel give heartfelt thanks for such an outpouring of affection, further proof of how Loppiano is in the hearts of so many people.
Many of them have expressed their intention to be close to us in a concrete way as well, wishing to make an economic contribution to help support the construction needed to repair the various damages suffered. To this end, we point out the current account in the name of P.A.F.O.M. at the banking institution Intesa San Paolo S.p.A. Iban code: IT96O0306909606100000180817. Bic Code: BCITITMM. Reason for payment: Liberal disbursement Mary Theotokos Shrine.