Two days of dramatic storms has brought Italy to it’s knees again, with terrible damage from North to South and miraculously only 14 people killed. The Cinque Terre and the whole coastline of Liguria has suffered and there may still be repercussions with landslides as the heavy rains soak in. The weather forecast remains gloomy and Liguria and Veneto regions are still under ‘Alert’, as we slide into the normal November rainy period.
And while Italy is not the only place taking a belting, it seemed appropriate to remember the flood of 25 October, 2011 in Vernazza and Monterosso and even the distant 1966 flood, 4 November as the Mayor of Venice is saying the high water level may reach the same peak of 1.90 cm!
Unlike the flood of 2011, caused by an exaggerated downpour, on Monday/Tuesday the storm provoked colossal sea swells with waves leaping over the entire village of Vernazza. As you can see in the video here the water in the main street is battling in both directions, from the sea and the rain!
Locals are already doing the clean up of the sludge and mess that has flooded in, their own ‘Mud Angels‘ as the clean up, at least in Vernazza, is not at the level of 2011.
Tourists were caught by surprise and made hurried exits of the coastal villages, dragging drenched trolleys to trains before various railway lines were closed.
I still wait with bated breath to return to my holiday haven at San Bernardino where I hear the wind was so strong the rain came horizontally. However it is not wise to travel over by car for the moment, if it can be avoided, at least until the weather settles and the weather alert is off. The road from San Bernardino to Vernazza is off limits for the moment, with access only by train or on foot.
The Cinque Terre is such a fragile territory, it breaks my heart to see it ‘battling’ yet again, especially in the current climate of stringent political and economic policies that limit resources and organisational capacity to recover quickly. Locals take it in their stride, fully aware that these natural disasters are just part and parcel of living on the coast…..and after all it could be worse!
Is this yet another message from Mother Nature to say we have gone beyond the limits? It certainly comes as a great reminder of who is really in control, demonstrating how vulnerable we really are.
Some of you may well remember enjoying Santa Margherita Ligure on tour and this video of the recent storms…. ends with a positive “It will come back to being wonderful”. These Ligurians are a tough lot, and hard to beat!