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RETURNING CIVILIANS NOW NEED SHELTERS
Thousands of former refugees have been returning to their homes surrounding Malta’s Dockyard and submarine base. The recent reduction in enemy air raids, the onset of winter rains and the difficult conditions faced by many refugees in temporary lodging inland are believed to have prompted their return. Bus fares have also proved expensive for dockyard workers commuting from inland villages to work.
Since early August almost 22000 refugees have returned to communities surrounding Grand Harbour and Marsamxetto, and the number is increasing daily. Hundreds have returned to Paola and Tarxien; 2500 were reported to be back in Senglea alone by the end of October and many more intend to return as soon as shelters are complete. Residents of Sliema are also moving back in great numbers.
They are doing so often despite the fact that there are no rock shelters near their homes. At Marsa people have to run over mile to take refuge in a shelter near the church. From Paola and even from Tarxien people flock to the Hypogeum of Hal Saflieni – the only public rock shelter in the area. Its capacity has been registered as 500 but it is believed that as many as a thousand have been seeking refuge there.
Residents of Vittoriosa and Cospicua have written to local press about the need for more shelters. One wrote: “Now that three fourths of the inhabitants…have returned to this city, an underground shelter is urgently needed.” (1)
AIR RAIDS DAWN 16 NOVEMBER TO DAWN 17 NOVEMBER 1940
Weather Bright and fine.
No air raids.
OPERATIONS REPORTS SATURDAY 16 NOVEMBER 1940
KALAFRANA Special message-dropping flight to an aircraft carrier.
ROYAL ARMY ORDNANCE CORPS Instructions from Assistant Director Ordnance Services for Inspecting Ordnance Officer to make up hostile bombs into landmines.
(1) When Malta Stood Alone, Joseph Micallef, Interprint Ltd Malta, 1981
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